2021 NFL Draft Scouting Report: Monty Rice

2021 NFL Draft Scouting Report: Monty Rice

by April 15, 2021 0 comments

Everyone has their “my guys” at every position in the NFL Draft. A lot of people have varying opinions on who they choose for their linebacker in this category. Monty Rice has been mentioned in this regard by some as a player that they would take on day two, which is being talked about as a day three player almost through and through. Georgia used Rice in more of a rotational role and almost always on passing downs. The lack of a three-down skillset for the Bulldogs has raised some questions about him. Many have labeled him as a steal in the 2021 class.

Make sure to check out all of our other 2021 NFL Draft Scouting Reports

Player Bio

Name: Monty Rice   

Jersey: #32

Position: Linebacker 

School: Georgia   

Class: Senior

Height: 6’0”

Weight: 238 lbs

Tackling (7.75/10)

Rice is solid in this regard. He wraps up and does a good job of allowing the others on the defense to surround him to complete the tackle. The downfall in this trait comes because he is inconsistent with finishing the tackles. There are times where Rice can tackle by himself when other times he will whiff or need a multitude of other defenders to come help finish the tackle.

Sideline-to-Sideline Ability (8/10)

Rice has solid athleticism. He can work his way through the middle of the field and fight through blocks to make a tackle from the middle of the defense.

Awareness (7.25/10)

Rice is a bit of an inconsistent player. In one game, he will look great, while in others, he seems lost to find where the ball is. Rice will need some development and shouldn’t be trusted to start from day one.

Versatility (6/10)

He is a bit limited in terms of his versatility. Rice can play in both a 4-3 and 3-4, but will primarily be liked by 4-3 teams due to his lack of length. He could end up being a core special teams player during his rookie season while he takes somewhat of a redshirt year during his rookie season.

Decision-Making (8.25/10)

Rice has some spurts of excellent decision-making, especially on read-option plays. There were many times where he would bust through the middle of the offensive line and drag the running back down behind the line of scrimmage.

Block Shedding (6.75/10)

Rice’s lack of length drastically affects him here. When an offensive lineman gets ahold of him, Rice struggles to disengage from the block. As a result, he tries to grab an ankle of the ball carrier and allows for bigger gains.

Short-Area Quickness (8/10)

Rice was used on a lot of blitz packages during his time in Georgia. He has some burst when he can use it. Rice uses his speed instead of his strength to get by defenders when he is blocked and tries to evade them.

Coverage (7.25/10)

There are varying opinions on how well Rice is in coverage. Some think he is one of the best coverage linebackers, while others think he is lackluster. Rice seemed to do just fine in coverage and did just fine against running backs and tight ends that weren’t named Kyle Pitts. He is much better in zone coverage and is always looking for someone to cover.

Football IQ (5.75/10)

Rice seems to struggle a bit with diagnosing plays. He will be a step or two late to make a play when he needs to make it, and he would sometimes have an issue with being in the right zone in coverage on underneath routes, and there would be a miscommunication between him and another defender.

Competitive Toughness (5/5)

Rice is a very competitive player. He has some fire to him and is always roaming sideline to sideline to make a play for the defense. Even after he struggles one play, he comes back the next play and puts forth great effort to keep the defense in a great position.

Injury (3.75/5)

Rice has been nicked up a lot during his time for the Bulldogs. These injuries are usually lower-body injuries that can range from his knee to foot. 

Player Summary

Rice is a solid player. He will likely need to take some time to develop and will be a great player on special teams during his rookie season. Rice shouldn’t start immediately from the jump due to his lack of a three-down skill set during his time at Georgia. His coverage ability and solid athleticism could get him selected much higher than the grade below, but his scheme dependency could drop him to day three. If Rice goes to the right situation, he could be one of the steals of the draft.

Final Grade (73.5/100): Early Fifth Round   

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