Right now, Damontre has second round talent that can be developed into a first round talent and an impact player for the team that drafts him. His size and build leaves a lot of room for future growth, his relentlessness to make a play on every down and his athletic ability to play more than one position in any style of defense tells me he has the ingredients to make a player with first round talent. When he uses good pass rush techniques, he is very tough to block on passing downs. When Damontre uses good techniques defending against the run, he is very hard to keep blocked. He has long arms and legs which make him a potential impact pass rusher. He also shows on film decent foot speed to track down players from behind and cause fumbles when he makes a tackle. Damontre has decent quickness off the line at the snap of the ball and is adept at slipping a double team, getting into the backfield and disrupting a play. He has a ton of potential and, if he has the work ethic off the field that he shows on the field, he could become an impact player for the team that drafts him. Additionally, he may become a core player and fan favorite; I do not believe he will ever be a bust no matter where he is selected in this draft.
There are a lot of concerns but none about how hard this kid works on the field. He needs to get a lot stronger and his techniques must become more consistent. I suspect most of the technique issues are because Damontre has played so many different positions for his college team. My biggest concern for Damontre is his football intelligence. He doesn't attack his opponent with a plan. He doesn't understand how to set up an opponent to make impact plays at crucial times in a game. He is not cognizant of down and distance. He just plays as hard as he can and that has to change for him to impact at the next level. Damontre also has to address his tackling. He is one of the worst tacklers at the college level because of a lack of upper and lower body strength and techniques. He seems to be willing, but this must improve for him to impact also. Damontre has a lot of work to do.
There is Mario Williams talent somewhere in this kid, but it will take some time for that talent to reach its full potential. At this writing, most are suggesting that Damontre is a top ten pick in this draft. For me, personally, I think if I was a GM and selected Damontre in the top ten after three years he would still be with the team and I would be fired. Not because Damontre was a bust, just because a top ten pick has to show a quicker return on investment than a top ten pick had to show ten years ago. In spite of the new rookie salary cap, top ten picks are expected to show promise and impact in some capacity almost right away. Those are the facts. Top ten teams can no longer draft developmental players unless it's at the QB position. If Damontre goes through his workouts and shows some unusual speed and workout numbers, he will be selected in the top ten. Unless I was a playoff team who has time to develop Damontre, I could not select him any earlier that the 15 pick in this draft. That's just me and, as I said, I think Damontre has the potential to be an impact player or at least a core player for your defense. That being said, depending on a team's need to get better right away, Damontre has the talent and work ethic to be a really strong DE. However, remember this, Mario Williams was let go in free agency by Houston who drafted him #1 in the 2006 draft. The biggest reason for this was salary and the fact that Mario, with all his talent, still does not know how to attack his opponent or set up his opponent to impact enough for the salary he receives. A lack of football intelligence, instincts and down and distance awareness is what Damontre is lacking and sometimes, that takes longer to learn than techniques. I can see teams from the 15th pick on in the 1st round being very interested in Damontre. Those teams will have the ability to wait and develop Damontre without pressuring him into carrying a defense, which will give him a better chance to become successful. Any teams ahead of that will be expecting too much too fast and I'm not sure Damontre is ready for that type of pressure.
Drew "The B.S. Detector" Boylhart