The NFL player Monty Montgomery compares to

Linebacker Devin Bush #55 of the Pittsburgh Steelers. (Photo by Jennifer Stewart/Getty Images)
Linebacker Devin Bush #55 of the Pittsburgh Steelers. (Photo by Jennifer Stewart/Getty Images) /

Louisville football linebacker Monty Montgomery reminds me of a very specific NFL player.

Louisville football linebacker Monty Montgomery is one of the best players on the Cardinals team. He is currently third on the team in total tackles (38) and second in solo tackles (28). He is also second on the team with 7.5 tackles for loss in just seven games played this year.

Now, with that given, Montgomery did not have a great game last week against Virginia. I made the statement that it was probably his worst game in a Cardinals uniform. However, he is still one of the top two players on this defense along with corner Kei’Trel Clark. I’m sure most Cards fans would agree.

In the past, Montgomery would not have had the same kind of NFL hopes he can now with his 5’11” 225-pound frame. However, in a pass-heavy NFL that is predicated on speed, Montgomery just might have about as good of a shot as ever to make the jump to the league.

This year, Montgomery has shown his ability to shoot through gaps with elite burst and speed through the gap. When he diagnoses correctly, he can move right by linemen and get to the ball carrier.

I have been extremely impressed with Montgomery (before the Virginia game). He has been around the ball constantly and you can just tell he moves differently than any of the other Louisville linebackers (CJ Avery and Dorian Etheridge). While those veterans are very solid players, Montgomery is just a different breed as a mover.

The NFL is looking for linebackers who can stack up speed-for-speed against the likes of the Kansas City Chiefs or Seattle Seahawks offense. Montgomery can be that.

Now, I do think Monty needs to learn how to play in zone coverage. At this point, he is very raw in that facet of his game which is why Louisville tends to put him in a quarterback spy where he can use his explosion to close on the opposing quarterback without too much processing.

However, coverage is something that can be taught by a coaching staff. Athleticism cannot. ‘

It can be very difficult to look at a college player and wonder “what is this guy in the NFL?” Well, I have a solid NFL comparison for you.

Monty Montgomery’s NFL comparison is…

Pittsburgh Steelers second year linebacker Devin Bush. Bush weighed in at 5’11” 234-pounds at the NFL Scouting Combine in 2019. Comparatively, Montgomery is listed at 5’11” 225-pounds on So, a slight difference there. But, Montgomery could probably put nine more pounds on to his frame to beef up for the combine.

Their frames are not the only thing that is similar between the two of them. They play the game the same kind of way. Both of them are very good at knowing how to use their athleticism to rush the passer and even though they are both undersized, they have an unreal knack to get after the quarterback.

Bush in his junior year at the University of Michigan had 4.5 sacks from his linebacker position while Montgomery has 4.0 this year.

Bush, in my opinion, was more sound in college in coverage than Montgomery currently is. Though I do think Montgomery has the athleticism to do it at a high rate, he is behind where Bush was after his junior year.

Devin Bush was the tenth overall pick in the 2019 NFL Draft. He currently is rehabbing a torn ACL he suffered in mid-October.

He ran a 4.43 40-yard dash and jumped 40.5 inches in the vertical leap at the combine in 2019. That’s freaky stuff for a compact ball of muscle. Do I think Montgomery can top or even match those numbers? Absolutely not. However, I don’t think Montgomery will be too far behind when he (assumably) earns his scouting combine invite in whichever year he decides to head to the draft.

I do think that Montgomery and Bush share the same kind of big-time playmaker mentality. When you are that small at the linebacker position, you have to make up for it in more ways than one. Bush and Montgomery both do that.

Montgomery will need to play better than he did against Virginia. That was very much not like him to play that way. If we get the same version of Montgomery from his first six games this season, the sky is the limit. If he plays like he did against Virginia, his stock could take a big hit.

Montgomery may be the “B-version” of Bush; meaning, he might do the same things Bush does well to a slightly lesser extent. I do not expect Montgomery will be a top-10 pick. However, if I was a team in rounds two or three of the draft, I would feel good about hitting a home run on Monty Montgomery.

Next. U of L basketball signee brings needed element. dark