2017 NFL Draft Scouting Report: Montravius Adams
By Charlie Campbell
Summary: For the past few years in the scouting community, there has been a buzz about Adams and the great potential that he flashed at Auburn. Adams occasionally looked like a first-round talent with a serious combination of speed and size at the point of attack. One source said that seeing Adams as a sophomore in 2014, they thought he might end up becoming a top-10 pick in a year or two. In the end though, Adams's lack of consistency and changing defensive coordinators in his final three seasons at Auburn kept him from becoming that caliber of prospect.
Adams made a nice impact as a sophomore with 43 tackles, eight for a loss and three sacks. He had a tremendous opening to the 2015 season, but didn't maintain that level of play. Auburn also gave him too many snaps. The junior cooled down significantly after his hot start to the season. Adams totaled 44 tackles, 2.5 for a loss, two sacks, two forced fumbles and one pass broken up on the year.
Adams recorded 39 tackles with 8.5 for a loss, 4.5 sacks, one forced fumble, one interception and two passes batted in 2016. After the season, Adams had an impressive Senior Bowl where he showed interior pass-rushing skills. Adams was quick at the point of attack and had his way with the all-star offensive linemen.
In the pass rush, Adams is dangerous. He is a fast defender at the point of attack with the ability to fire his gap. Adams uses strength to push off blocks and can close in an instant on the quarterback. Adams has the burst to fire by guards into the backfield and the power to bull rush through linemen. He has a natural build to manhandle offensive linemen and toss them to the side. Adams was very consistent at winning his one-on-ones at the Senior Bowl and was good all week.
Adams' run defense needs to improve for the NFL. He struggled playing a two-gap technique in 2015, and his run defense looks best when he fires his gap to get upfield. Scouting sources had this to say about Adams, "Can physically do what he wants but his block ID is poor, gets earholes when he as to play static. Can't anticipate what's coming, similar to Robert Nkemdiche. Same type of ability and issues. Adams probably will run in the 4.8s at the combine. Adams is a good character kid. He isn't lazy, just still figuring it out." Thus, Adams needs to develop his instincts, anticipation, and run-defense technique to be a well-balanced three-down defender.
For the next level, Adams fits any defense. His best fit would come as a three-technique defensive tackle in a 4-3 defense. Using his speed to fire his gap and cause disruption in the backfield is what Adams does best, and that would make him a good fit in a 4-3 system that doesn't run a lot of two-gap. He also has enough length to play end in a 3-4 defense and could move inside to rush as a three-technique in passing situations. In the 2017 NFL Draft, Adams projects as a second-day pick.
Player Comparison: Jonathan Babineaux. Babineaux has had a very good career after being a second-round pick in the 2005 NFL Draft. He has been a fast disruptor at the point of attack with the ability to contribute to the pass rush from the inside. Babineaux (6-2, 300) and Adams are almost identical in size with real speed at the point of attack. If Adams develops, I could see him being a player similar to Babineaux in the NFL.
NFL Matches: Cleveland, San Francisco, Detroit, New Orleans, Los Angeles Chargers, Indianapolis, Denver, New York Giants, Oakland, Seattle, Dallas and Atlanta
On the second day of the 2017 NFL Draft, there are a lot of fits for Adams. The Browns have a plethora of picks and could use a three-technique tackle for their 4-3 defense. The 49ers also could use that kind of interior defender to help upgrade their weak defense.
New Orleans could lose Nick Fairley in free agency, and Adams could be a replacement to pair with Sheldon Rankins. The Chargers are switching to a 4-3 defense and could consider adding another tackle. The Giants might lose Johnathan Hankins, while Denver could consider Adams to be a true replacement for Malik Jackson.
The Colts need to upgrade their defensive talent, and Adams would bring them an interior rusher who they lack.
The Raiders and Seahawks both need interior pass-rushers. Adams would be a good fit for either team. Dallas could lose Terrell McClain in free agency, and Adams would make sense as a three-technique for Rod Marinelli. The Falcons also could consider an interior pass-rusher who could serve as an understudy to Jonathan Babineaux.
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