Colorado’s Steven Montez is the one to watch

Originally I was watching the Alabama vs Arkansas State game. It got out of hand quickly, so I switched to Nebraska vs Colorado. It was the right decision.

Colorado had three star performers in a dramatic 33-28 road win:

Steve Montez (QB)
Nate Landman (LB)
Laviska Shenault Jr (WR)

Shenault Jr was a do-it-all playmaker. Colorado’s offensive gameplan was smart and effective. They isolated defenders against Shenault Jr and utilised the mismatch. When Nebraska stacked defenders to his side of the field, they exploited the space on the opposite side. He’s 6-2 and 220lbs and squats 475lbs. He’s explosive, quick for his size and just a terrific playmaker. He’s only a sophomore but this is a name to watch going forward. Shenault Jr has special qualities.

Landman equally had a ‘wow’ performance. On back-to-back drives he turned the ball over, blowing up a 4th and short with a great run stop before making an interception on the next series. He flew around making plays all day, organised the defense and set the tone. Like Shenault Jr he’s only a sophomore. We’ll have to wait a while to see how their draft stock develops. His quickness, instinct and nose for the ball was highly impressive. Landman looks like a future NFL starter.

Montez is the real deal. I’d watched him twice previously and liked what I saw. This win, on the road in Nebraska, took things to a new level. This is the quarterback we should be talking about in terms of the draft. He has it all. Mobility, a beautifully accurate deep ball, great size, poise, a terrific clean release. He’s a natural passer. He’s 6-5 and 235lbs but can make plays on the run. Forget all the other names — Herbert, Lock, Stidham. This is the guy. He was 33/50 for 352 yards and three touchdowns. He won the game with a perfect 40-yard throw to Shenault Jr deep into the fourth quarter:

That wasn’t even his best throw. This was:

One of the endzone cameras showed how difficult this throw was. There’s marginal separation by the receiver. Montez had a tiny window to throw this football and make it catchable. He absolute nailed it.

Every now and again you come across a player where you sit up and take notice. It’s early in the season. We’ll see how Montez fairs in a stretch of four games that includes UCLA (H), Arizona State (H), USC (A) and Washington (A). Make no mistake though — he has a major opportunity. I’m willing to talk about the first round. And in a year without big name college QB prospects, a top quarterback eligible for 2019 could go very early.

Steven Montez is the real deal. He’s an exciting talent. He’s one to watch.

Meanwhile, here’s a quick review of Clemson’s ‘big four’ defensive linemen against Texas A&M:

Dexter Lawrence — superb
Christian Wilkins — superb
Austin Bryant — superb
Clelin Ferrell — superb

They’re all going in the first round. If you need any evidence that these four are legit — watch the replay of this game. They took it in turns to make plays.

Another blog favourite, D’Andre Walker of Georgia, had a good day today against South Carolina, with a sack and two TFL’s:

Nick Bosa had a sack and three TFL’s in Ohio State’s 52-3 victory against Rutgers. Rashan Gary collected a sack for Michigan against Western Michigan.

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  1. DC

    Clemson WR Tee Higgins looks good. 6’4″ 200. High pointed that TD catch. Okay wheels & looks like a good blocker in the run game. Sophomore.

    • Rob Staton

      Looks really good. They are brilliant at producing technically adept receivers. Higgins is another.

  2. AndrewP

    All due respect to my man Rob, but… I’m gonna wait a bit on anointing Montez. He came across as very pedestrian at times last year, and Nebraska’s talent cupboard is incredibly bare after some woeful Riley years.

    • Rob Staton

      That’s fine and understandable. Which is why that upcoming four game stretch is important.

      But I’d wager you won’t see a prettier release, better deep ball or superior prototype QB in college football this year. Last year was his first as a starter. He looks like a natural passer now, a major step forward.

      • CHawk Talker Eric

        I second that point about his release. He has such an efficient throwing motion. His arm strength must be considerable, as I thought his passes went a lot farther than I would’ve expected based on his arm movement. I think that helps his timing as well as his ability to avoid the rush. Also his accuracy was remarkable, though I’ll give Shenault some credit too for his sweet receptions.

        The toughest secondary/pass rush Montez will face this year is UW, so I’ll wait to see how he does against them. But IMO he’s the front runner for the Heisman, especially since CU has a relatively easy schedule.

  3. Coug1990

    Montez also has good genes. His father, Alfred Montez, was a QB for Texas Tech and Western New Mexico, then spent a year with the Oakland Raiders.

  4. Coug1990

    Did I do something to have my posts have to be reviewed? If so, I am curious what I have done.

    • GerryG

      No, issues with posting on the blog currently, definitely on mobile devices, but showing up on my cpu now too

    • AlaskaHawk

      I wonder if there isn’t a hidden delay that allows the admin person to remove posts with profanity? Might be a time delay that can be set somewhere in the program.

  5. East Side Stevie

    DeAndre Baker CB (Georgia) had a nice Pick 6 today. Allbeit, its a Pick 6 with an asterisk * he dropped the ball celebrating just shy of the goal line. His teammate scooped it not long after.

    • CHawk Talker Eric

      After yesterday, it’s clear the top 3 teams in the country are ‘Bama, Georgia & Clemson (in that order IMO).

      • Rob Staton

        I think it’ll be Clemson, Alabama, Georgia for the order — but agree with the three you picked.

        • CHawk Talker Eric

          I wasn’t expecting Georgia’s offense to be so good. Their offensive skill position players really impressed me. They owned the Gamecocks.

          I didn’t get to watch the entire Clemson/TAMU game, but the parts I did see, their D was as advertised. That DL is pro level right now.

          Did you see USC/Stanford? Embarrassing night for the Trojans. I think they’re overrated.

  6. icb12

    Agreed on all points Rob. I was just coming here to post comments about the Colorado game in the open thread.

    I was somewhat skeptical of the Herm Edwards hire for ASU,
    But I think he has that team going the right direction. N’keal Harry is a boss. Merlin Roberstsen is a going to be a linebacker to watch in the future.

    Good look for the pac12 today with wins over the b10. Wish Washington hadn’t shot themselves in the foot last week.

    • SeventiesHawksFan

      A win over Auburn would have been nice and quite a statement that they are ready to contend and match up with the SEC in a playoff game. But in reality I think the program is right where it should be. They’re getting closer but still aren’t physical enough. And it’s going to take a good solid five years of being in the Top 25 to start getting that kind of talent recruited consistently. They’re well on their way.

      This loss coming early in the season shouldn’t hurt them much. They need to be dominant in their own conference first. And we still don’t have the athletes for that. If we win out in conference games they’ll make the playoff for sure. And get their shot at a quality win over an SEC level program on the national stage. And it will have been duly earned. The Auburn loss keeps them still searching and hungry.

      As for today’s game, I’m rather curious to see how they will use their safeties. Do we go with hybrid cover 2 or big nickel to protect Tre Flowers? A converted rookie corner getting his first start at Denver altitude on the road is a lot to ask of him. Will be very curious to see what adjustments they make. Or are they going to let him play on an island over there. It’s kinda begging to be exploited if help is not shaded to his side. That would mean more cover 2 concepts are used.

    • Volume12

      I laugh when I he sh** like, ‘Harry isn’t nuanced in his route running. Lacks downfield explosion.’ Who cares when he’s double covered all the time and is still out here Mossing folks every week.

  7. Barry

    There is a lot to like about Montez, but his habit of not stepping up and throwing off his back foot is a concern. Against slow NE defenders is one thing against a safety and corner next level I wonder if those passes wouldn’t have been INT.

    It was a great game and I do like some of the QB’s in this draft. Looking forward to some more film on the guys.

    • Rob Staton

      His deep ball is so accurate with ideal velocity I don’t think it matters personally. Rare accuracy downfield.

  8. HawkfaninMT

    Anyone here going to the game today?

  9. Kenny Sloth

    Those are some beautiful throws. Some mechanical issues as others have stated, but I’m done looking at what a guy can’t do.

    This guy throws a pretty deep ball. Hopefully his mind right

  10. Trevor

    This DL class is loaded wow!

    I know most people seem to like Bosa as the projected #1 but I am not sure how any team could pass on Ed Oliver! He is a beast and interior pressure trumps all in the NFL. I know some question his size but he is a beast and I think will have a Donald type impact at the NFL level.

    Unless Russ gets hurt week #1 we have no shot at him but wow would he look nice on the Hawks DL.

    • Rob Staton

      Oliver is unnaturally quick for his size but the Rice game in week one was a perfect illustration of the issues with him. He pretty much just puts his head down and runs. He’s a bit of a one trick pony. And he doesn’t show much evidence of power (not surprising at his size) or a counter. When he comes up against bigger, tougher, stronger OL’s at the next level he is going to have to offer more. Love his quickness but he’s such a tweener. Not big or powerful enough for a permanent role inside but totally unconvinced by his ability to play the five or DE. Incredibly talented but working out his role and discovering whether he’s more rounded than he’s showing will be tricky.

      Bosa, on the other hand, is the complete DE.

    • Tecmo Bowl

      They’re both studs! Top 5 picks for sure. Wish Houston moved Oliver around that DL. Sticking him at NT isn’t doing much for his progression.

  11. Sea Mode

    Earl to start today…

    • Kenny Sloth

      Also Flowers and both Griffins

  12. Tecmo Bowl

    Texas A&M sure played well. They almost pulled out a W against Clemson. A fumble through the end zone late in the game killed. Jimbo is going to turn that program around. LB Alaka and DT Mack(more of a 2 down DT) flash and look like next level talent.

    A&M So. WR Kendrick Rodgers, listed as 6’3″(he says he’s closer to 6’5″) 210 lbs, had a hell of a game. 7/120/2. His first TD over 2 Clemson defenders was amazing! Thought Mond was throwing the ball out of the end zone, until Rodgers ripped it down. He caught everything thrown his way, showed some RAC ability too. Hes another to keep an eye on for 2020, along with Shenault.

  13. Volume12

    The NFL is back baby!

    We got QBs (Luck & Dalton) trading INTs within the first 2 minutes of the season, Minnesota punting from the Niners 38 yard line. How else can the shield show off their world class product?

    • cha

      How about calling roughing the passer on a sacker who can’t somehow manage the body control to roll his 300lb weight off the QB as he’s tackling him to the turf. Absurd.

  14. Ishmael

    Defences head hunting early. TJ Watt on Tyrod Taylor, Sean Williams on Luck – just got himself ejected for it. Shoulders to the head while the QB was going down. Hope the Hawks have told Wilson to get down fast

    • Volume12

      Nick Chubb is a 3rd stronger in a Cleveland Brown offense. It’s almost like a RB who had an awful 3 cone, 10 yd split, and SS lacks the COD, acceleration, or quickness or something. When did that stop mattering in regards to drafting guys?

      • Ishmael

        He’s got no juice, complete JAG at this level. Denzel Ward looks good early at least.

        • Rob Staton

          Chubb just had a terrific run.

          Let’s not be twitter and spend the first day over critiquing all these rookies in their NFL debuts. I’ve had to log off twitter for all the BS on there today.

          • Ishmael

            Fair enough, mea culpa. That was way too hot a take.

            • Rob Staton

              No problemo.

              It’s important to remember — rookies don’t always start immediately. Or succeed immediately. Especially not in week one.

              • Kenny Sloth

                *Shaquem Griffin’s zone coverage*

  15. Volume12

    God, Dalvin Cook is incredible. Inject him into my veins right now!

    • CHawk Talker Eric

      Cook, Diggs, Hunter – all look great. Richardson having a nice game as well

      On the other side of scrimmage, Tartt & Brukner look pretty good

      • Volume12

        Yeah they do. If Diggs stays healthy he’s on his way to becoming the NFC version of Antonio Brown.

        As far the 9ers go, Kittle & Pettis are 2 really good young weapons to grow with Jimmy G. Shame that’s all they got on offense though.

        • STTBM

          Only Zimmers conservatism and/or injuries can derail Minny. They look incredible.

          That said, Niners have far lesser talent, yet could have won if pouty Garroppolo had been more accurate on 5-6 of his throws, and Pettis knew when to play DB on a bad pass.

          Niners should have been blown out but weren’t–kinda like Seattle, but for different reasons. Niners are very well coached; Seattle had Dissly and McDougald…

  16. Trevor

    Wow Ryan Fitzpatrick carving up that Saints defense. TB has awesome weapons on offense.

  17. Hawk Eye

    hmmm, so Kelvin Benjamin was complaining about Cam Newton as a qb.
    Welcome to Buffalo, where Cam would be the 2nd coming of Joe Montana at this point.

  18. Ishmael

    Buffalo are a complete joke. How do New England get to play with three teams made up of absolute bums year after year after year. Pats are going to go to the Super Bowl again.

    • Volume12

      How dare you speak ill of the great Nathan Peterman.

    • Volume12

      Ish, Tyreek Hill has touched the ball twice and has 150 yds and 2 TDs already. 😉

      • Ishmael

        He’s a freak. Absolute germ of a human, but the most gamebreaking talent in the game. The Chiefs are going to be hilariously fun to watch with him and Mahomes

  19. Volume12

    This is the greatest thing OMG! Especially if your a fan of wrestling from the late ’80s-early ’90s.

    • CHawk Talker Eric

      The Emerald City Eliminators?

      Kid Broadway???


      • Volume12

        Those were great as was the dead pan delivery of ‘Alex Smith.’ 😂😂

        Glad I’m not the only one who liked that.

    • Sea Mode

      Alex Smith.


      (the un-fireable Marvin Lewis was good too)

  20. Kenny Sloth

    Love watching Royce Freeman run

  21. CHawk Talker Eric

    That first 3rd and long that they failed to close out 🙄

    The second one that they did 😁

    • Ishmael

      Already in midseason form!

  22. Volume12

    ET! Pay this man!

    • Del tre

      Yep, writing is kind of on the wall, unless someone offers a Mack sized deal it’d be silly to just let him walk, he is the best free safety in football, and essential to this scheme, i highly doubt he declines in the next 2 to 3 seasons.
      Another big thing we scored a td in the first quarter!

  23. Gohawks5151

    Earl!!! Tedric may grow to be good but that’s the difference between NFL starter and all pro playmaker. For all the talk this s summer, some people forget what that looks like. If he leaves we WILL miss him. Beautiful play to Dissly!

  24. CHawk Talker Eric

    Welcome Will!

    That was a textbook pass did you see the arc on it. Picture perfect. And Dissley sold it all the way.

    What can you say about Earl? That has to feel so good for him. Watch out I bet he’s gonna be on a mission.

  25. Volume12

    Dissly is ballin’!

  26. Ishmael

    Dissly already has that old-man Zach Miller deceptive speed. He’s so slow I think it freaks the defenders out. They think it’s a trick play or something

  27. Pran

    All familiar problems… kicker, OL

    Running game improved. Defense deteriorated.

  28. Volume12

    Is Seattle gonna run the ball here or…???

  29. Volume12

    Other than Dissly’s TD, this is terrible play calling.

  30. Volume12

    Seattle gonna take a K round 1 next year at this point.

    • lil'stink

      The sad thing is I think we would be a decent team this year if PCJS hadn’t blown our first pick in each of the last 3 drafts. “Overreact, reach, and regress” has been their motto with those picks

  31. Volume12

    What a terrible ruling on that last TD. The refs have been disgusting all game.

  32. 12th chuck

    Ifedi struggled, was hoping for more, maybe time to move on from him.whats up with not being able to stop the run, that cost us the game IMO

  33. Forrest

    I liked a lot of things, but also too many silly mistakes on both sides of the ball. The defense needs time to gel, and the offense needs be a little more aggressive. Either way this team looks to be more fun to watch than last year’s team, so I’m happy. Go Hawks!

  34. CestrianHawk

    Couldn’t agree more. As an aside (as you’re far more knowledgeable than me), what was the difference between Marshall’s push off in the end zone and Thomas’s push off for the last touchdown?

    • STTBM

      Uh, the color of the uniforms….lol!

  35. CestrianHawk

    Watched game on GamePass. Were they national commentators (?), because it was so Denver-centric that it was like listening to the away pre-season games. I had to turn the sound off eventually.

    • Rob Staton

      I’m not one for bashing commentators — but it did seem a little rich to choose a Broncos favourite who does local radio in Denver for this opening game. Not to say Mark Schlereth was anti-Seahawks or anything. But he certainly felt a lot more comfortable talking about Denver (understandable) and it didn’t really make for a balanced broadcast.

  36. STTBM

    Man, every year I get suckered into thinking Seattles Oline will improve. Ha! It appears to have actually gotten worse–which is like a miracle in reverse. Ifedi offered as much resistance as a motorized blocking dummy. Awful.

    I was afraid Norton was at fault for his Raiders D sucking, and from what I saw today Im inclined to believe I was right…darn it all! And I was afraid Schottenheimer would suck as OC. He really, really does.

    I get it; Griffin had no business starting at LB yet–Denver schemed to truck him time after time, and it worked beautifully for them. And having to start your third string cb–a guy who played his entire college career at S–is far from ideal. But the Seahawks showed nearly zero ability to scheme effective blitzes, while Denver’s play designs seemed magical. And it wasn’t just Miller doing Miller things–Derek Wolfe was living in the backfield. Now, Wolfe is a fine player, but he’s not Aaron Donald.

    On offense, Denver had play after play that isolated our weakest links; yet Seattle only had a handful of similar plays. The run game was pathetic; and for the Love of God, can we please stop blaming the RB’s?! Denver’s line got their backs 2-4 free yards by pushing the D back, while our line looked like the Keystone Cops, and never got more than a yard of push.

    Russell Wilson did not look like a guy worth 33 million. He looked…out of it and pedestrian. The team looked lost.

    Losing Baldwin is an utter nightmare.

    Clark is not getting a contract from Seattle; the guy was mostly invisible.

    The worst thing? Earl Thomas’ body language during the second half, while the D gave up play after play. Compare his behavior with McDougalds; that guy never gave up and was practically spitting fire! Earl needs to be traded ASAP–to anyone BUT the Cowboys, for anything we can get.

    This team was only hanging on by the skin of it’s teeth due to 3 picks by Keenum. The D isn’t going to get that many turnovers very often, so this could get ugly fast.

    One last thought; If Wilson doesn’t scramble, Seattles offense flat cannot go more than 50 yards. It just doesn’t work–it’s like using Jimmy Graham to block…

  37. STTBM

    And how about the Clock Management by Carroll, Wilson and Schotty at the end? They took 10-15 seconds to line up and call their second play, the Wilson fumbled a good snap…And Carrol not immediately taking the Red Flag out of his pocket on the Freeman Phantom Fumble, instead waiting till he got word from upstairs to even reach for it, then getting hung up trying to pull it out? Priceless!

    Keystone Cops…

    Seattle was out coached and outplayed across the board, yet had a chance before blowing it. This was Fugly Football. And I really was hopeful they could be functional…

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