With the 2020 NFL Draft in the books, we’re wrapping things up by offering player profiles on all the UDFAs signed by the Pittsburgh Steelers. The franchise’s history is strong with diamonds in the rough though in recent years. Hopefully the can find some who may have been overlooked in this year’s group.
#58 Christian Montano / OC Tulane – 6031 306
- Good size and very good length for the center position
- Solid hand placement and good hand strength
- Awareness and effort when uncovered
- Solid win rate in one on one situation
- Effective in pin and pull and down blocks
- Plays under control and strength to win on second level
- Plays too upright with feet too far under him
- Resorts to leaning when losing ground
- Pad level to take on speed from blitz or twist
- Unable to move defenders on drive/double team blocks
- Heavy footed and not a good fit for outside zone or as a puller outside
- Quick to grab/hook in the A gaps vs quicker defenders
- 2019 – Started 13 games for the Green Wave
- Graduate transfer from Brown University
- 2019 – Named Walter Camp Football Foundation Connecticut Player of the Year
- 2018 – Team captain
- 2017 – At Brown, named Second Team All-Ivy after moving from center to tackle
The Steelers added some interior offensive line help with undrafted free agent Christian Montano. He finished his career playing center at Tulane after coming over as a graduate transfer from Brown University where he played center and left tackle. He has good size and very good length for playing inside with 32 7/8th inch arms and nearly and 81 inch wingspan with 10 1/2 inch hands.
As a pass blocker, he shows solid quickness at the snap with good hand placement when heads up with a defender. He has good hand strength and solid ability to reset his hands to work for an advantage. Against 0/1 tech he displays solid lateral agility to cut off their initial angle in the A gaps and solid sustain to push them to the outside when they do have an advantage. He has a solid anchor against bull rushes when he keeps his pads down. When uncovered he keeps his head on a swivel and looks to help out teammates. He has good awareness to recognize twists coming into his zone.
Vs Houston, the have a linebacker mugging the A gap he uses good hand placement and slide with the defender to push him outside.
At Navy, he give ups some ground initially but resets his hands and pad level and digs his heels in to slow the rusher.
As a run blocker, he shows good quickness at the snap with solid pad level using solid play strength and hand placement to stalemate in a one on one matchup. He displays solid footwork to seal on blocks inside including hinge and scoop blocks. On Gap runs he shows solid push on down blocks and solid footwork to fold and lead around the guards. On inside Zone he shows solid foot work to position himself between the ball and the defender and is a good blocker with has solid timing on combo blocks on the second level when working right in front on him.
At SMU, he checks the 1T who goes outside so he moves to the second level and locks up and seals the linebacker for the big run.
At SMU, he’ll fold over the left guard, comes to balance on the second level and controls the linebacker.
When pass blocking, he gets too upright allowing his feet too far under him disrupting his balance. When he feels he’s losing the rep he’ll really lean into the defend making him susceptible to lateral moves. When taking on speed either by blitz or twist he needs to play with better leverage and pad level to not get driven back. He needs to add core strength to handle not getting out muscled above the waist. Has marginal speed and agility to get out in front of screens. He’s not a people mover on drive or double team blocks. He’s heavy footed when pulling or working to the second level laterally. When beat by speed he is quick to grab or hook the defender. I don’t think he’s a fit for outside zone not showing the lateral quickness to reach 1T’s consistently.
At Navy, this is an outsize zone run to the right. He can’t get his head across the defender and gets driven into the backfield.
Vs Southern Mississippi, facing the 1T he gets pushed back a little and then really leans forward to try to stem the rush. When the DT moves latterly he’s overextended and nearly horizontal.
Montano shows smarts, leadership and has good length. He a solid pass blocker and is best on inside zone, down and pin and pull type blocks in the run game. With improvement to his pad level, leg drive and core strength he could prove to be a developmental center who would best fit in a Gap/Power or Inside Zone scheme. They have J.C Hassenauer in the role right now and signed John Keenoy from the XFL but Montano could give them some competition.
Chance to make the team: 1%
Games Watched: 2019 – Vs Florida International, Vs Houston, At Navy, At SMU, Vs Southern Mississippi