Tampa Bay Buccaneers: Heart condition holding top prospect back?
After a monstrous performance at the NFL Scouting Combine, Montez Sweat popped onto the radar for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers they must now reconsider.
Mississippi State University Bulldog and SEC stand out Montez Sweat is suffering from a heart condition. This first came to light at the NFL Scouting Combine this year in Indianapolis, however it was not deemed severe and doctors to perform every drill cleared him. The Tampa Bay Buccaneers now have to consider whether or not Sweat is worth the risk with their first round pick.
Sweat went on to set the combine on fire after running a 4.41 40 yard dash. At 6’6 and 260 pounds, he seemed to shoot up every single draft board after his performance in Indianapolis. After looking like a lock to be picked in the top-10 in this year’s draft, Sweat now seems to have fallen down some draft boards following the medical news.
This is not new to Tampa Bay as a former first round pick Gaines Adams also had a heart condition, but that did not stop the Bucs from making him a top 5 pick. This time it should stop the Bucs from picking Sweat with their first round selection; this definitely has to worry some teams, including the Buccaneers.
The defensive line standout had his work ethic on display in Indianapolis to show that his condition is not going to slow him down, but the Buccaneers have to look elsewhere for a defensive player; the risk is just too high for a team entering a make-or-break 2019. The Bucs own the fifth overall pick in 2019, and with a defense that ranked at the bottom of the league last year. However, general manager Jason Licht has to find another player to pick; middle linebacker Devin White, defensive tackle Quinnen Williams, or pass rusher Josh Allen would be prime targets if they drop out of the top four.
The Bucs simply cannot risk losing another top pick to a medical risk as Gaines Adams ultimately lost his life to a heart condition after being traded to the Chicago Bears back in 2008. It is better to remove him from their first round and second round draft board in a critical year for Tampa Bay as it is just too much of a risk of missing a prime candidate with the fifth overall pick if Sweat has to call it quits.
The Buccaneers need all the help they can find, and if Sweat somehow found his way into the later rounds of the draft as defensive tackle Maurice Hurst did a year ago after a similar situation, then Licht must consider him; at that point in the draft, any team can feel safe taking a flyer on a player with risks. However, in the top rounds of the draft, Sweat is too much of a risk for Tampa Bay to consider.