Monty Rice, LB
School: University of Georgia | Conference: SEC
College Experience: Senior | Age: 22
Height / Weight: 6’0” / 238 lbs
Projected Draft Status: 3rd-5th Round
Player Comparison: Jarrad Davis
Senior Monty Rice has been a staple in Georgia’s defense. After being recruited out of Huntsville, Alabama, Rice appeared in 14 games as a freshman. His sophomore season, he became a starter, but knee and foot injuries limited his starts to only five. Finally healthy for his junior season, Rice was able to start all 14 games and win co-Defensive MVP after leading the team in tackles. His senior season, he struggled again with injuries, but played through them. Despite this, he was considered first-team all-SEC by the Associated Press.
- Scraps along the line of scrimmage to make plays on the edge
- A solid tackler with an extra burst as he closes on ball carriers
- Plays well in space and does a good job in both man and zone coverage
- Injury concerns: sprained MCL and other leg and foot injuries
- Needs to improve how quickly he diagnoses and reacts to plays
- Plays too high when engaging blockers, often getting out-leveraged
Let’s see his work
What started as Ojulari study quickly turned into me just saying “Monty Rice is everywhere” over and over pic.twitter.com/ici2pohiPc— Dillon Appleman (@dillappleman) April 10, 2021
Monty Rice: Highest-graded blitzer in the 2021 Draft class (91.7) pic.twitter.com/YpV9YHFuKE— PFF Draft (@PFF_College) February 20, 2021
Monty Rice is a LB prospect in the 2021 draft class. He scored a 7.2 RAS out of a possible 10.00. This ranked 599 out of 2137 LB from 1987 to 2021. https://t.co/jrpleifeb1 #RAS via @Mathbomb pic.twitter.com/rkSdPUNIDx— Kent Lee Platte (@MathBomb) April 14, 2021
How He Would Fit
Rice appears to be a jack of all trades, master of none. That shouldn’t allow him to be overlooked. He plays well around the line of scrimmage, especially as he plays laterally. He beats blockers to their spots on his way to ball carriers. He has the speed to stay with a lot of players in man coverage and has good awareness and reaction in zone coverage. He needs to play a little lower when taking on blockers so he isn’t out-leveraged and he needs to process plays a little quicker. The big concern for me is whether he can stay healthy.
Washington should address the linebacker position early in the draft. If they are interested in a developmental prospect at the position who should be available on Day 3, then Rice would be a good selection. Although he is athletic and could fill an immediate need at WILL linebacker, he is a MIKE linebacker and should be groomed at that position. He should be able to come in and contribute on special teams. If he develops, he should takeover Bostic’s starting duties. As he gets more familiar with the defense and gets more reps, I think he’ll play faster and become a reliable starter. This all hinges on his ability to remain healthy. If he can do that, Rice is a prospect that could make a lot of teams regret passing on him.