Photo of Montori Hughes
Drafted By: Colts
  • Round 5
  • Pick 6
  • Overall 139

Combine Results

Grade
68.7 ?
  • 5.23 SEC
    Top Performer
  • 22 REPS
    Top Performer
  • 26.5 INCH
    Top Performer
  • 104.0 INCH
    Top Performer
  • 7.85 SEC
    Top Performer
  • 4.70 SEC
    Top Performer

Draft Analysis:

"He's a height-weight speed freak. This kid has more talent than fifth-rounders have, it's just a matter of getting it out." -- Mike Mayock

  • 6'4" Height
  • 32 5/8" Arm Length
  • 329LBS. Weight
  • 10 1/8" Hands

Overview

Hughes’ collegiate journey has not been ideal, in terms of the maturity and consistency NFL scouts look for in top-tier prospects. Academic issues forced him to go to Hargrave Military Academy for a semester after high school graduation instead of beginning his career with the Tennessee Volunteers. He was suspended for the 2010 regular season finale, as well as from team activities during the following offseason, for violating team academic rules while at Tennessee, and eventually was dismissed from the school after playing a part in a dorm incident in May 2011. Hughes has shown off his agility and strength inside during his time at Tennessee-Martin, however, enticing scouts enough to consider him at least a valuable rotational NFL player.



Hughes wound up with 106 tackles, 25 for loss and 13 sacks as a senior at Murfreesboro High School, and his performance at the Toyota East-West All-Star Classic caused UT to have great interest in his services. He enrolled in school in January of 2009, participating in spring practice so he could be prepared to play every game with the Volunteers in his first fall on campus (20 tackles, two for loss). He began his sophomore year as a starter, lining up with the ones the first five games (including once against UTM) before going to a reserve role the rest of the year (17 tackles, 3.5 for loss, one sack). He played in every game, starting seven, for the Skyhawks after his transfer in 2011 (30 tackles, 6.5 for loss, one sack). In his senior season, Hughes managed 31 tackles (8.5 for loss), four sacks, and 13 QB hurries.

Analysis

Strengths

NFL-sized nose tackle with thick upper body and strength through the thighs. Flashes initial quickness off the ball, can drive the center backwards or lift him off the ground post-snap when fully utilizing his strength and explosiveness. Does not give much ground against single or double blocks. Shows the agility to spin off blocks and move to the ball down the line. Provides pressure up the middle with a swim move or quick movement into either A-gap. Quick enough to chase quarterbacks trying to leave the pocket if free from his block, can also force cut backs by ballcarriers by his effort to the ball in the backfield. Works hard to hold the line using his lower body strength, and can split doubles to get to the ball in tight quarters. Flashes violent hands to rip off man-up blocks.

Weaknesses

Needs to use his hands more consistently to control his man and gain leverage. Can struggle to disengage to make plays. Will anticipate the snap at times, jumping offside or getting off-balance so centers can control him. Lacks closing speed and the ability to break down to make many plays outside the box against elusive ballcarriers. Takes time to recover once on the ground. Played against a lower level of competition after being dismissed from Tennessee, was far from dominant in terms of his strength against better FCS players. Work ethic and stamina has been questioned.

NFL Comparison

Linval Joseph

Bottom Line

Hughes is a wide-body nose tackle with the agility scouts and coaches love to see. He needed a prep school detour for academic issues, which dogged him during his time in Tennessee as well before his dismissal from that program. Teams will need to see him prove his work ethic, but if he does, he could be a nice rotational piece for a 4-3 base defensive team at the next level.
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Grade Title Draft (Round) Description
96-100 Future Hall of Famer Top Pick A once-in-a-generation type prospect who could change how his position is played
85-95 Immediate Starter 1st An impact player with the ability/intangibles to become a Pro Bowl player. Expect to start immediately except in a unique situation (i.e. behind a veteran starter).
70-84 Eventual Starter 2nd-3rd A quality player who will contribute to the team early on and is expected to develop into a starter. A reliable player who brings value to the position.
50-69 Draftable Player 4th-7th A prospect with the ability to make team as a backup/role player. Needs to be a special teams contributor at applicable positions. Players in the high range of this category might have long-term potential.
20-49 Free Agent UDFA A player with solid measurables, intangibles, college achievements, or a developing skill that warrants an opportunity in an NFL camp. In the right situation, he could earn a place on a 53-man roster, but most likely will be a practice squad player or a camp body.

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