Montez Sweat

Redskins Sign Montez Sweat

The Redskins have signed first-round pick Montez Sweat, according to a team announcement. With that, the Redskins now have both of their first-round picks under contract after previously signing Ohio State quarterback Dwayne Haskins

[RELATED: 2019 NFL Draft Results By Team]

The Redskins stood pat at No. 15 and came away with Haskins, who was widely regarded as one of the two best QBs in the draft. After that, they moved back into the first round to snag Sweat at No. 26. Both players could prove to be incredible values – Sweat was pegged as a top 10 choice before a misdiagnosed heart condition hurt his stock. Then, just before the draft, doctors caught the error and OK’d him and his “normal heart” to play football.

Sweat finished his two-year Bulldogs career with 22.5 sacks and 30 tackles for loss. He spent his first two collegiate campaigns at Michigan State, where he did not see a whole lot of playing time. In 2019, head coach Jay Gruden says that he expects to use Sweat frequently.

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Colts Trade No. 26 To Redskins

The Redskins now have another selection in the first round. ESPN’s Adam Schefter reports (via Twitter) that Washington has acquired pick No. 26 from the Colts. The Redskins will send No. 46 and a 2020 second-rounder to Indy, according to ESPN’s Field Yates (via Twitter).

The Redskins have used their new selection on Mississippi State defensive end Montez Sweat. There were conflicting reports about the lineman’s draft stock following news about an apparent heart condition. There were rumblings that some teams removed Sweat entirely from their draft board, with some teams’ doctors noting that there isn’t an example of a player dealing with this issue in the current NFL. However, we learned yesterday that teams now believe that Sweat’s heart condition was misdiagnosed at the combine, further complicating his draft stock.

Either way, Sweat is clearly one of the most talented edge defenders in the draft. His unique combination of size and speed make him a menace on the outside, and he should continue to develop as a running-game disruptor. Despite the heart condition, Sweat managed to appear in 26 games over his final two seasons with the Bulldogs, compiling 22.5 sacks over that span. His known visits were with the Texans, Bengals, 49ers, Bills, Raiders, Packers and Buccaneers.

The Redskins have invested plenty of draft capital into their defensive line in recent years, as they selected defensive end Jonathan Allen in 2017 and defensive tackle Da’Ron Payne in 2018. Sweat should join the two players to form a formidable front-three.

The Redskins made headlines earlier tonight when they selected Ohio State quarterback Dwayne Haskins with the No. 15 pick.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Breer’s Latest: Jets, Broncos, Rudolph

Some assorted notes from SI.com’s Albert Breer leading up to tonight’s draft…

  • The Jets are beginning to gain some traction on a deal involving the third-overall pick. Breer mentions that the Redskins could be a match, with the team presumably eyeing a quarterback. Ohio State’s Dwayne Haskins could be an option, as could Oklahoma’s Kyler Murray (if he isn’t taken with the first-overall pick). Breer notes that if the Jets remain in the top-10, they could opt for Houston defensive tackle Ed Oliver, who one scout described as “the epitome of a [defensive coordinator] Gregg Williams player.”
  • Missouri quarterback Drew Lock is “rising continuously in draft meetings” among the Broncos front office. The team could be eyeing him with pick No. 10, or they could be preparing for a scenario where Lock falls towards the bottom of the first round.
  • After paying Stefon Diggs, Adam Thielen, Eric Kendricks, Anthony Barr and Danielle Hunter, the Vikings could be looking to deal one of their other pricey veterans. Tight end Kyle Rudolph could be a trade candidate, and Breer writes that he wouldn’t be shocked if the Patriots make a play for the pass-catcher. The writer mentions cornerbacks Xavier Rhodes and Trae Waynes as well as wideout Laquon Treadwell as trade candidates.
  • Two players who are set to play on their fifth-year option are on the block. Breer writes that Eagles receiver Nelson Agholor and 49ers defensive end Arik Armstead “have been part of trade discussions.” On the flip side, Breer believes that it’s unlikely that the 49ers trade defensive lineman Solomon Thomas.
  • If Mississippi State’s Montez Sweat gets past the Redskins (No. 15), Panthers (No. 16), or Seahawks (No.21), Breer is unsure how far the defensive end could end up falling. Breer points to the Rams as a potential fit at the end of the first round. Reports indicated that Sweat was diagnosed with a heart condition, although there were rumblings today that he may have been misdiagnosed.

Mississippi State’s Montez Sweat Misdiagnosed?

Well, this is interesting. Teams now believe that Montez Sweat‘s heart condition was misdiagnosed at the combine, according to Ian Rapoport of NFL.com (Twitter link). Follow-up tests on the Mississippi State defensive lineman revealed no risk to the player, which is phenomenal news for Sweat’s health and football future alike. 

Sweat was initially flagged for hypertrophic cardiomyopathy, which causes a thickening of artery walls. As a result, some teams to removed him from the draft board completely. Now, two sources say the situation is not nearly as dire as once thought.

Two sources tell RapSheet that the thickness of Sweat’s heart wall is actually 1.5 centimeters, not ~2.0, which makes for a much lower risk of problems. If Sweat’s wellbeing is not in danger, his stock could be restored just in time for Thursday night’s draft.

Sweat was previously listed among the 23 attendees for the NFL Draft’s green room, an indication that he was in the first round mix. Sweat changed his plans after the medical tests scared teams away, but it sounds like he could be in line to receive some good news tonight when he’s watching the telecast from elsewhere.

Sweat finished his two-year Bulldogs career with 22.5 sacks and 30 tackles for loss. He spent his first two collegiate campaigns at Michigan State, where he did not see a whole lot of playing time.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

King’s Latest: Giants, Bosa, Steelers, Sweat

Connected to two positions primarily throughout the pre-draft process, the Giants appear certain to fill one of those early. Dave Gettleman wants a pass rusher “in the worst way,” a veteran NFL exec told NBC Sports’ Peter King, before adding the team will draft an edge player with one of its first three picks. New York holds picks 6, 17 and 37 but also has been understandably linked to quarterbacks after passing on them early in last year’s draft. The Giants have met with just about every top- and second-tier pass-rushing, hosting Nick Bosa, Josh Allen, Ed Oliver, Quinnen Williams, Rashan Gary, Brian Burns, Clelin Ferrell, Dexter Lawrence, Jaylon Ferguson on visits. After trading away Jason Pierre-Paul and Olivier Vernon in consecutive offseasons, the Giants boast one of the most edge defender-needy depth charts in the game. Their Vernon-powered pass-rushing group last year registered just 30 sacks.

While the Giants may be zeroing in on Dwayne Haskins, they have also done work on possible second-round quarterbacks Will Grier and Jarrett Stidham — in the event Gettleman would dare push his post-Eli Manning QB need to 2020 and prioritize pass rushers early. He has said he would not view a non-first-round pick as a legitimate long-term quarterback solution.

Here is the latest from the draft world, courtesy of the veteran reporter:

  • Adding some intrigue to the Cardinals‘ situation: they believe Bosa is a generational prospect. While King still has them selecting Kyler Murray at No. 1, the report they are not totally committed to this yet — despite just about everything we’ve heard in recent weeks — is a bit more interesting. Bosa visited the Cardinals earlier this month and would obviously fill the team’s need opposite Chandler Jones.
  • While defensive line and linebacker prospects figure to populate the ESPN ticker early in Thursday night’s draft, secondary pieces may not come off the board until the second part of the opening round. One of the teams in need of cornerback help may have a preference. Mike Tomlin “loves” Temple’s Rock Ya-Sin, King writes. The Steelers have a linebacker need too but did sign Mark Barron to pair with Vince Williams. Their 2016 first-round investment of Artie Burns has not paid off, so Pittsburgh’s No. 20 spot may well be a cornerback destination. Ya-Sin, who played at Presbyterian (S.C.) prior to playing one season at Temple, visited the Steelers this month.
  • Brian Burns‘ stock has risen recently, and King mocks the Florida State product to the Bengals at No. 11. Burns ran a 4.53-second 40-yard dash at the Combine and is one of many high-caliber front-seven players available.
  • Another member of that group’s fortune has not been as kind. Montez Sweat will not attend the draft. Some teams have taken the Mississippi State product off their draft boards, and it is now possible he falls out of the first round. Reportedly diagnosed with an enlarged heart, Sweat may have some teams willing to take a chance on him early. One GM told King that Sweat will have an issue with his heart going forward, but if it’s closely monitored, the talented defender can have a career. That would be a boon for someone’s defense, with Sweat blazing to a 4.41-second 40 at the Combine and combining for 23 sacks between the 2017-18 seasons. Another GM informed King he believes Sweat’s upside is higher than Bosa’s, adding further intrigue to this situation.

Latest On Montez Sweat

Montez Sweat‘s stock has bottomed out and it’s possible that he will not hear his name called on Thursday night, Matt Miller of Bleacher Report (on Twitter) hears. This may help to explain why Sweat – who has been long projected to go in the first round – has opted against attending the NFL Draft in person

Sweat’s heart condition has caused some teams to remove him from their draft board, so there are definitely less suitors for his services. Some cardiologists say that Sweat’s enlarged heart will not prevent him from playing, but there’s also no known case of another NFL player with the same issue. The unknowns have created serious question marks for talent evaluators, despite Sweat’s measurables and on-field production.

Despite the heart condition, Sweat racked up 22.5 sacks over his final two seasons with the Mississippi State Bulldogs. The Texans, Bengals, 49ers, Bills, Raiders, Packers, and Buccaneers all met with him, but it’s not clear whether all of those teams still have him in consideration.

Last year, Michigan standout Maurice Hurst plummeted to the fifth round due to a (different) heart condition and Sweat could be in for a similar fall. Hurst’s case may work to Sweat’s advantage, however. Last year, Hurst appeared in 13 games (ten starts) for the Raiders and racked up four sacks with 31 total tackles.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

DE Montez Sweat Won’t Attend NFL Draft

It sounds like Montez Sweat‘s camp may be preparing for some draft-day disappointment. According to ESPN’s Adam Schefter (via Twitter), the Mississippi State defensive end will not be attending the NFL draft. Sweat was previously listed among the 23 attendees, but recent reports may have forced the lineman to rethink his spot in the green room.

“My devoted grandparents and a host of other family members helped me to get to this point in my life,” Sweat said (via Schefter on Twitter), “and I wanted to celebrate this special day with my family so we all chose to do so where it all started for me, Stone Mountain, Georgia.”

We heard yesterday that a heart condition has caused some teams to entirely remove Sweat from their draft board. Sweat has an enlarged heart, and some teams’ doctors have noted that there is no example of a player dealing with this issue in the current NFL. On the flip side, there’s a sense that some teams will be willing to take the risk, with cardiologists indicating that Sweat would be able to have an NFL career.

Despite the heart condition, Sweat managed to appear in 26 games over his final two seasons with the Bulldogs, compiling 22.5 sacks over that span. His known visits were with the Texans, Bengals, 49ers, Bills, Raiders, Packers and Buccaneers. While Sweat was previously expected to be a first-rounder, it’s uncertain when he’ll be selected during next week’s draft. As our own Sam Robinson pointed out, Maurice Hurst, viewed by some as a first-round prospect last year, fell to the fifth round last year because of a different heart condition.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Montez Sweat Off Some Teams’ Draft Boards

The heart issue that surfaced for Montez Sweat at the Combine did not impede the Mississippi State product from participating in drills in Indianapolis. Nor did it keep him off the field during his time with the Bulldogs, with the defensive end playing in 26 games the past two seasons.

But it may have major ramifications on his draft stock. Some teams have taken Sweat off their draft boards, Tom Pelissero of NFL.com reports (video link).

Sweat has an enlarged heart, Pelissero reports, adding some teams’ doctors have told their scouts no example of a player dealing with this issue exists in the current NFL. However, athletes in other sports have been able to participate despite this condition.

A sense exists that more progressive teams are willing to take the risk of adding the dynamic pass rusher. Some have spoken to cardiologists who have indicated Sweat would be able to have an NFL career, per Pelissero. Other teams, however, are not comfortable taking him and have taken him off their boards.

The 22-year-old prospect registered 22.5 sacks the past two seasons. He blazed to a 4.41-second 40-yard dash time. His known visits were with the Texans, Bengals, 49ers, Bills, Raiders, Packers and Buccaneers.

Were his heart not a concern, it would appear Sweat would be a lock to go early in the first round. He still may. But it should be noted Maurice Hurst, viewed by some as a first-round prospect last year, fell to the fifth round last year because of a different heart condition. It would not be surprising to see Sweat drop next week as a result of his enlarged heart diagnosis.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

NFL Draft Rumors: Taylor, Ford, Sweat

Florida offensive tackle Jawaan Taylor met with the Bengals on Tuesday, according to Adam Schefter of ESPN.com (Twitter link). Taylor, who stands 6’5″ and 328 pounds, certainly has the size requirements favored by new Cincinnati offensive line coach Jim Turner, but it’s unclear if the ex-Gator will be available when the Bengals make their first-round selection at No. 11. Along with Jonah Williams (Alabama), Andre Dillard (Washington State), and Cody Ford (Oklahoma), Taylor is considered one of the best tackle prospects available in the 2019 draft. If selected by the Bengals, Taylor could immediately take over at right tackle, displacing the recently re-signed Bobby Hart, and would be a long-term option to replace Cordy Glenn on the blindside.

Here’s more on the 2019 NFL draft:

  • Speaking of Ford, the Oklahoma offensive lineman has been extremely busy during the pre-draft season. Per Aaron Wilson the Houston Chronicle, Ford has met with and/or worked out for the Patriots, Eagles, Buccaneers, Vikings, Texans, Cardinals, and Falcons. That’s in addition to his previously-reported stops with the Bengals and Panthers. Ford was a first-team All-Big 12 selection in 2018 and helped Oklahoma win the Joe Moore Award, given to the country’s best offensive line. A left guard in both 2016 and 2017, Ford shifted to right tackle for the 2018 campaign.
  • The Texans are meeting with Mississippi State edge rusher Montez Sweat on Wednesday, reports Ian Rapoport of NFL.com (Twitter link). Sweat is considered of the best defensive ends in the draft (especially after blowing up the combine), so Houston would likely need to trade up from No. 23 overall in order to land him. After starting his collegiate career at Michigan State, Sweat spent two years with the Bulldogs, racking up 22.5 sacks and 30 tackles for loss during that time.
  • Washington cornerback Byron Murphy has met with the Panthers, Chiefs, and Cardinals in addition to his visit with the Steelers, tweets Wilson. In 2018, Murphy earned a spot on the first-team All-Pac-12 list after putting up 37 tackles, four interceptions, and 13 interceptions. Regarded as a first-round pick by most observers, Murphy is the No. 6 overall player on Pro Football Focus’ draft board after allowing only a 47.7% completion percentage against and forcing 17 incompletions.
  • The Rams hosted Mississippi State safety Johnathan Abram on Tuesday, per Tom Pelissero of NFL.com (Twitter link). Abram, who has also met with the Cowboys and Cardinals, is part of a closely-clustered safety class that could start coming off the board at the end of the first round. Daniel Jeremiah of NFL.com, notably, ranks Abram as the No. 1 safety prospect of 2019. Arbam posted two interceptions, three sacks, and nine tackles for loss last year.

Draft Rumors: Bucs, Bills, DL, Saints, Harry

A fifth team emerged on Nick Bosa‘s pre-draft schedule. The Buccaneers will host the impact edge rusher prospect, according to Albert Breer of SI.com. Bosa will have dinner with Bucs representatives on Sunday night and stay in Tampa for a Monday visit. The Ohio State-honed defender met with the Cardinals and Giants last week and has 49ers and Raiders meetings on his agenda. But a Florida trip will follow. It appears next to impossible Bosa falls to the Bucs at No. 5, so the only way Tampa Bay likely would be in position to land him would be through a trade-up scenario.

Here is the latest from the draft, staying with the Bucs:

  • Having visited with LSU linebacker Devin White, the Bucs’ interest has appeared to have increased. The Bucs “love” White, Breer adds, and the off-ball ‘backer has been rumored to have climbed into potential top-five consideration. No non-rush linebacker has gone off the board in the top five since Aaron Curry 10 years ago. Tampa Bay saw Kwon Alexander defect to San Francisco, creating a need here. But No. 5 overall is quite the perch to take an off-ball linebacker.
  • A sixth team scheduled a Montez Sweat summit. The Bengals brought in the Mississippi State-developed defensive end on Monday night, Alex Marvez of Sirius XM Radio tweets. He has already met with or is scheduled to visit the 49ers, Raiders, Bills, Packers and Bucs. Sweat blazed to a 4.41-second 40-yard dash at the Combine and seems likely to go off the board in the top 10.
  • Staying on the subject of draft-eligible ends, Jaylon Ferguson‘s extensive April tour of NFL cities continues. Among the teams on his reported 22-visit tour: the Bills, Giants, Colts, Eagles, Cowboys, Titans and Rams, per NFL.com’s Tom Pelissero (on Twitter). Ferguson met with the Bills on Monday; he will head southeast for his Giants powwow next. His visits with the Colts and Eagles are on tap for this week, with the Cowboys, Titans and Rams meetings are slated for next week. The Bucs and Bengals were already on the Louisiana Tech-produced pass rusher’s docket.
  • This year’s wide receiver hierarchy has not produced a clear-cut favorite, D.K. Metcalf‘s take-notice measurables notwithstanding. One of the top pass-catching prospects, N’Keal Harry, joined Ferguson in meeting with the Bills on Monday, Pelissero tweets. Upcoming for the Arizona State alum this week: visits with the Eagles, Patriots and Saints. Harry rates as the No. 4 receiver prospect — behind Marquise Brown, Metcalf and A.J. Brown — per NFL.com’s Daniel Jeremiah. Harry met with the Seahawks last week.
  • One of the second-tier defensive tackle prospects, Jerry Tillery remains in recovery from shoulder labrum surgery. But he traveled to New Orleans on Monday for a pre-draft Saints visit, Pelissero adds (via Twitter). The Notre Dame product is not expected to participate in OTAs but may be on track for training camp. The 6-foot-7, 305-pound prospect profiles as late-Day 1/early-Day 2 pick. By virtue of 2018 trades, the Saints hold just one pick in the first four rounds — No. 62 overall.
  • The Jets also parted with extensive draft capital in 2018, in order to land Sam Darnold. As a result, they continue to be mentioned as a team ready to trade down. Gang Green “badly” wants to trade out of the No. 3 slot, Breer notes. The Jets surrendered what became the No. 34 overall pick to the Colts last year, and the Mike Maccagnan-led front office wants to collect a second-round pick via trade.