Montario has excellent athletic talent along with good overall strength. He has great straight line speed and does a nice job catching the ball out of the backfield on swing passes and screens. Montario exhibits leadership qualities through his play on the field and takes pride in his ability to be one of the leaders on the field. He gives good effort when blocking and picking up blitzing linebackers on passing downs. Montario is a systems running back that can take it to the house on any given play. I would think he would be an excellent special teams kick returner although I have not seen him being used in this capacity by his college team. He looks to be a good teammate and with his speed and breakaway abilities, he should be an asset to the team that drafts him.
NEEDS TO IMPROVE
Montario runs everything at one speed and is too high in his stance making him easy to tackle when he runs between the tackles. He does not set up his blocks, nor does he have the vision in the hole or lateral agility that you would look for in a player with his athletic talents. Montario has decent hands out of the backfield, but I'm not convinced he has the type of hands that will allow him to catch the ball down the field and fumbling is always an issue with players who run upright for the next level. Right now, Montario is better in the open field than he is running through the tackles.
Montario is a developmental running back. If he learns to catch the ball down the field, he will become a weapon for an offense coordinator. He needs time to develop better instincts and real running back skills. Right now, he is a perfect fit for a zone blocking scheme because he is a one cut and go type of running back. If he can stay healthy and develop his abilities to catch the ball down the field, he can be used in different situations all over the field. Montario does his best work in open spaces. Using Montario on special teams as a kick returner seems to me like a no brainer because of his open space abilities. You can't lose drafting a running back with Montario's overall potential game- breaking skills. He looks to be the type of person who will keep working to become the best back that he can become. Drafting Montario and using him in a zone blocking scheme will fit Montario's talents like a hand fits a glove. Drafting him and expecting Montario to be a big part of your offensive running game in any other style of offensive line blocking scheme will be a big mistake. Montario should be used as a third down back with special teams skills that could develop into a weapon if he can work on catching the ball down the field and learn to not fumble in the open field.
Drew Boylhart 3/10