Credit: Brian Spurlock-USA TODAY Sports. Pictured: Montez Sweat
- The 2019 NFL Draft begins on April 25 and will be held in Nashville, TN.
- Matthew Freedman breaks down the expected draft position for Mississippi State edge defender Montez Sweat.
Each day, I publish 1-2 pieces on props I like. See my master list of 2019 prop bets for more information.
The 2019 NFL draft class is loaded along the defensive line, and one of the standouts is Mississippi State edge defender Montez Sweat.
A top high school tight end, Sweat transitioned to defense at Michigan State before transferring to Copiah-Lincoln Community College and eventually Mississippi State, where he put up 17.5 sacks in two seasons.
A two-time All-SEC first-teamer, Sweat could be a top-10 pick.
The draft is rapidly approaching, and for the first time ever it will be held in Nashville, TN.
Here’s the seven-round schedule.
- Thursday, April 25: Round 1
- Friday, April 26: Rounds 2-3
- Saturday, April 27: Rounds 4-7
In this piece, I look at when Sweat is likely to be selected in the 2019 NFL draft.
2019 NFL Draft: Montez Sweat Draft Position
- Over 7.5: -375
- Under 7.5: +265
Based on the numbers, there’s probably value on the under, but my gut is pushing me toward the over.
I’ve surveyed the most recent mock drafts of 20 respected analysts, and they give Sweat an average draft position of 10.3. But his median is 8 and his mode is actually 6.
So 7.5 seems like a decent number, which means that it would be smart to take the plus money on the under — but I think Sweat won’t go off the board till pick No. 8 at the earliest.
In my first post-combine mock draft, I actually had Sweat going at No. 5 to the Buccaneers, but a lot has changed in the draft landscape since early March. In my most recent mock, I have him going to the Dolphins at No. 13.
Here’s the big factor with Sweat: Although he displayed fantastic size-adjusted athleticism at the combine, running his 40-yard dash in an absurd 4.41 seconds at 6-foot-6 and 260 pounds, his combine medical review showed that Sweat has an enlarged heart.
While there are some soccer players in Europe who play with Sweat’s heart condition, there are currently no NFL players who do so. So far, NFL teams have simply viewed players with enlarged hearts as too much of a risk.
Some teams have removed Sweat from their draft boards entirely because of the condition. And I imagine that for most of the teams that still have him on their boards, they have moved him down.
And even without the heart condition, it’s uncertain that he would be drafted in the top seven anyway because of the needs that teams have and the players likely ahead of him on most draft boards.
No. 1 – Arizona Cardinals: They need a quarterback and seem highly likely to select Kyler Murray.
No. 2 – San Francisco 49ers: Edge defender Joey Bosa is too good to pass on at this pick.
No. 3 – New York Jets: If they stay at this pick, they will likely select either defensive tackle Quinnen Williams or edge defender Josh Allen. Maybe defensive tackle Ed Oliver.
No. 4 – Oakland Raiders: They will likely take one of the high-end defenders the Jets pass on, or maybe they will select a quarterback.
No. 5 – Tampa Bay Buccaneers: They are now widely expected to draft off-ball linebacker Devin White, although this is a potential landing spot for a defensive lineman.
But even if they draft a lineman, they might opt for Williams, Allen, Oliver or maybe even edge Rashan Gary.
No. 6 – New York Giants: They need a quarterback, and some people within the league are convinced they will take one at No. 6.
They also could use an edge defender, so it’s understandable for draftniks to mock Sweat to them at No. 6.
But the Giants also have pick No. 17. If they like a quarterback, and the rumors are that they very much do …
… they would be fools to wait to draft a quarterback at No. 17, because he could be gone by then: The Broncos could take him at No. 10, Bengals at No. 11, Dolphins at No. 13 and Redskins at No. 15.
So I expect the Giants to take a quarterback at No. 6 — either Daniel Jones or Dwayne Haskins — and then wait to take an edge defender at No. 17.
No. 7 – Jacksonville Jaguars: They are a run-first team in need of an offensive lineman, and they can get the top player at the position with this pick. On defense, they already have a strong pass rush with Calais Campbell and Yannick Ngakoue.
Given that the Cardinals and Giants are locked into quarterbacks, that the Jags are likely to go with an offensive lineman and that Bosa, Williams, Allen and maybe even Oliver and Gary are ahead of him on draft boards, it seems highly unlikely that Sweat will be drafted before pick No. 8.
And I can see the Lions actually selecting him at No. 8. They need pass-rushing help.
But because of his heart condition, I can also see how he could fall out of the top 10 altogether.
So I’ll bet over 7.5, but the football gawds know I won’t dare to bet it lower than -400.
The pick: Over 7.5 (-375)
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