This year’s NFL Draft will feature a plethora of talented quarterbacks, including Colorado signal-caller Steven Montez. Not only did he showcase his talent in the Pac-12 for multiple seasons, the El Paso native had the opportunity to play at the Senior Bowl.
Montez threw for 2,808 yards and 17 touchdowns during his senior season with the Buffaloes. He also added 153 yards and three scores on the ground.
With the NFL Draft only a few months away, we were fortunate enough to sit down with the Colorado quarterback to ask him a series of questions.
Let’s get started.
The Spun: During the Senior Bowl you were practicing with quarterbacks like Justin Herbert and Jalen Hurts. As a competitor, how’d that feel?
Steven Montez: Oh, I mean it felt good. I was out there just trying to compete with them and just really compete with myself and match each throw and get better as the week went on, and I thought I did that. I thought I came out pretty strong on Monday, had some inconsistencies on Tuesday, and then cleaned a lot of that up on Wednesday. During the game some different things happened, but I thought I reacted well to it. I made some mistakes and ended up throwing an interception, but I think all in all it was a really good experience for me.
— Reese's Senior Bowl (@seniorbowl) January 23, 2020
The Spun: A lot of people say this is an elite wide receiver class, and you played with a great one in Shenault. So, how was it adjusting to other wideouts that you’re not so familiar with? Did it take you a little time to get used to them?
SM: To be honest, no. I think a lot of those guys out there like Van Jefferson, Jauan Jennings, Collin Johnson, and a lot of those guys out there are studs. Going from Laviska to those guys was a little bit different, but it was right around the same caliber of athletes out there, so there wasn’t too much trouble adjusting to the new receivers I was throwing to in Mobile.
The Spun: I’ve been reading a ton of scouting reports and I see a lot of people say you have great arm talent and ideal size for a quarterback. The only thing they really want to see you improve is footwork. Do you feel like that’s a fair critique?
SM: Oh, 120 percent I think that’s a fair critique. But I think that throughout this process, especially for the offseason, which I’ve been working with Jordan Palmer, that a main emphasis for us has been footwork. We’ve been working at it like crazy, just to be consistent and not miss those easy layup throws. I mean, we’ve been working like crazy and we’ve been putting a whole lot of emphasis on it. I only imagine that it’s going to get a lot better as we continue to work on it through these next couple of weeks. And then even after that, I’m going to continue to work with Jordan after the draft to keep getting better at that footwork portion because I definitely think that’s an area where I have a lot of room for improvement, and it’s only going to make me better and more consistent.
"I want them to find out that I'm a very quick learner, that I'm a good human being and that I've got a pretty big arm on me."
— Tom Pelissero (@TomPelissero) January 24, 2020
The Spun: The NFL Combine is coming up in a couple of weeks. Which parts of it do you believe you need to nail in order to show coaches you’re the right player for them?
SM: I think there’s two of them. I think the interviews and the throwing drills are going to be really big for me. One, to showcase that my footwork has gotten a lot better and that I could be a lot more consistent. Also, it’ll allow me to show off my arm talent. I think I’ve got one of the most talented arms in the draft. And then the interview portion is just to let coaches know that I love the game of football, that I’ve been doing it for a long time, and I want to continue to do it as a professional career. I also want to show them my knowledge of the game and my leadership skills as well.
The Spun: Now I do run a Saints podcast, so I want to give you a hypothetical scenario here. How would you feel if New Orleans selected you and allowed you to sit behind Drew Brees for a year?
SM: I think it would be a huge honor to go in and to learn from one of the best of the best. He’s a future Hall of Famer, I don’t think there’s any doubt in anybody’s mind about that. To come in and have the opportunity to sit behind him would be fantastic, but I’m still going in to compete. I’m not going in to just ride the bench. That’s not the mindset that I’ve ever had, and I don’t think I’ll ever have that mindset. I’d go in there and try to try to go toe-to-toe with him. I know it’s a tall task, especially since it’s Drew Brees. There’s a quote in a Drake song that Jordan always talks about. It’s your idols become your rivals, you make friends with Mike, but got to A.I. him for your survival. That’s something that I think about a lot and we’re getting to the point now where a lot of these guys that I’ve been looking up to for a really long time are going to end up being my competitors. I’m really excited about the opportunity to do that. I know a lot of people would kill to be in this spot that I’m in.
I spoke to Colorado QB Steven Montez earlier this week about the upcoming NFL Draft and asked him about how he'd feel about sitting behind Drew Brees in New Orleans pic.twitter.com/VOZUUO7ogD
— Chris Rosvoglou (@RosvoglouReport) February 4, 2020
The Spun: Who’s the one quarterback you try to emulate your game after?
SM: I kind of emulate my game after a lot of different guys. I’m most comparable to Josh Allen just because we’re both bigger guys, both mobile and have big arms. I’ve watched a whole bunch of Tom Brady tape. He’s just super technical, and obviously his leadership skills are off the charts. I think I’m a little bit more mobile and athletic than Tom Brady, so I think that there’s some points of difference there. I think Big Ben (Roethlisberger) has been somebody that I’ve watched tape on, and I think that we’re pretty similar because of arm talent. Growing up Tom Brady was my favorite quarterback. I really just try to emulate a lot of my styles and leadership traits from him.
The Spun: I have to ask you about that Colorado-Nebraska game from this past season. First, can you describe that rivalry because there was a lot of talk leading up to that game? And second, how did it feel to get that big win against a rival?
SM: It was just super surreal. I didn’t really know about the Colorado-Nebraska rivalry until I got to Colorado. They used to just hate each other, and I didn’t really get a taste of that until 2018 when we played them up at Lincoln. The only thing our fans would talk about all year was that game. It was like as long as you beat Nebraska, that’s literally all we care about. As a player, obviously you want to win every single game. But as the days got closer to the game, we kind of just started to realize, ‘Oh man, these fans really hate Nebraska.’ We had such a different intensity going into that week’s practice. Although we went down early in the game, we still had our wits about us. What really sparked us coming back was the flea-flicker from the freaking four-yard line. We dialed that up, I ended up throwing a bomb touchdown to K.D. Nixon, and then momentum shifted from Nebraska to us. In overtime we ended up kicking a field goal and their kicker came out and ended up shanking it. Like I said earlier, it was just so surreal. The fans rushed the field, and everyone was hugging each other. It was one of those experiences that you see on TV that you’re always just like ‘Wow it would just be really special to be a part of that one day.’
The Spun: Would you say that’s your favorite moment at Colorado, or do you have another moment that stands out to you?
SM: The top three moments of my career at Colorado include my first start at Oregon, both of the wins against Nebraska and then winning at Senior Night against Washington.
The Spun: Last question for you. Everyone is talking about Joe Burrow and Tua Tagovailoa. For those that aren’t sure, what is an NFL team getting in Steven Montez?
SM: You’re getting an athlete at 6-foot-4, 235 pounds that’s mobile and can make throws outside of the pocket but can also work inside the pocket to find those soft spots. I think you’re getting somebody that has a huge arm – probably the biggest arm in the NFL Draft. Most importantly, you’re getting a leader and someone who works extremely hard at the game and strives to be better every single day. You’re getting somebody who loves to be around his teammates and is a really big believer in camaraderie and relationships in the locker room.
Steven Montez has been unstoppable when throwing the deep pass so far this season! pic.twitter.com/KQiumQzrUy
— PFF Draft (@PFF_College) September 13, 2019
Montez is currently projected to be a mid-round selection in the upcoming NFL Draft.
Fans can watch Montez at the NFL Combine in Indianapolis later this month. He’ll try to boost his draft stock even further at the biggest scouting event of the year.