The Los Angeles Rams could be in the market for a quarterback this offseason in the NFL Draft. No, not to replace Jared Goff, but to be a backup or developmental backup to Jared Goff. With Blake Bortles unlikely to return, as it stands, John Wolford is the team’s backup heading into next season. Wolford has shown promise, but it could be a good thing to have three quarterbacks on the roster or someone that can compete with Wolford for the backup spot entirely.
The Rams won’t be in the market for a player like Jordan Love, Jake Fromm, or Jacob Eason, but day three players in the NFL Draft or undrafted free agents should be who they look at. One of those players is Colorado quarterback Steven Montez.
Montez became just the second player in Colorado history to pass for over 9,000 yards in his career and is the program’s all-time leader in touchdown passes. To say the least, this is one of the best quarterbacks to run through the Buffalo program.
Redshirting his freshman season, Montez started every game since his redshirt-sophomore year. In his first year as a full-time starter, he was named honorable-mention all-Pac-12 and was named the team’s most outstanding offensive player as he threw for 2,975 yards, narrowly missing what would have been just the third 3,000-yard passing season in Colorado history.
That would only be the tip of the iceberg for Montez. He would continue to stamp his name in the record books while playing in Boulder, creating a legacy that will go unmatched.
Montez enters the NFL draft with 44 starts, making him one of the more experienced players in this class.
Montez’s ability to create plays on the move and while scrambling might be one of the strongest aspects of his game. He is a huge threat outside the pocket. He has the size and speed to run, but also displays accuracy to be a threat throwing the ball downfield. Montez consistently keeps his eyes downfield, looking and directing receivers. His size in the pocket makes him hard to bring down. He is rarely sacked despite a below-average offensive.
His arm strength is unmatched in this class. He has the arm of a cannon and makes it look effortless. If he can reign it in and bring everything together, he’ll be a good player.
Montez is a one-read, point and shoot player. Decision making is inconsistent. That can lead to turnovers. He had 2:1 TD:INT ratio in college. The positives are that when he sees something, he’s not afraid to go for it. He’s a very confident player.
Due to mechanics and footwork, his accuracy is very inconsistent and is all over the place. Some throws are eye-popping, while others leave you scratching your head. He’s much more accurate on deep throws than those in the 0-10 yard range.
Three Plays on Tape
These are the types of plays that Montez can make from outside the pocket and why teams will be intrigued in the NFL Draft. He goes through his progressions but doesn’t panic against a very good Oregon defensive front. He rolls left, keeps his eyes downfield and throws a ball with pin-point accuracy running left which isn’t easy for a right-handed quarterback to make. This is a player with a lot of athleticism.
This play shows off both Montez’s accuracy and arm strength. It may seem like an easy throw, but he fits this ball between two closing linebackers and hits his receiver in stride. This is a ball that requires pinpoint accuracy paired with the arm strength to fit the ball in such a tight, limited window.
Here you get that accuracy that’s just a little bit off. Montez has the arm talent to make these throws but he misses a pretty open wide receiver running down the left sideline. It starts with mechanics. When they’re right, he can make all of the throws, but when they’re not, he tends to miss.
Montez is not a player that’s going to come in and start right away. This is a player that needs to be a backup in a steady situation so that he can learn for a year so that he can refine his game. The size and athleticism is there but he needs a coach that can mold him.
With the right coach, Montez could be a starter in a few years. However, most likely his ceiling is a backup at the next level.
Draft Grade: 5th-6th Round
Montez is a “reckless” player with a lot of traits and size that make a successful quarterback. If he lands on a team that is willing to coach him up, he’ll be a good player. Has 44 games of experience as a red-shirt senior. Played in the Senior Bowl. I see him as a backup or third-string quarterback in his first season or two with the upside of being a backup that can take over for a game or two if needed. His arm strength is reminiscent of Josh Allen coming out of Wyoming, but his accuracy and decision-making issues are that of Josh Freeman.