Montravius Adams catapulted up NFL team’s draft boards with a standout season coach Gus Malzahn described as “impressive to watch.”
ESPN NFL Draft analyst Mel Kiper Jr. praised the defensive tackle’s skill set on a conference call with reporters Thursday.
Kiper has Adams with a third-round draft grade, but can see the senior sneaking into the second round.
The concern for NFL scouts will be the former 5-star product out of Dooly County taking three years to live up to the high expectations he came into college with.
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“Why didn’t it happen until this point?” Kiper said. “That’s why I said in the second- and third-round area you look at a player like that.”
Adams had some “wow games this year” — he finished the season with 39 tackles, 8.5 for a loss, with 4.5 sacks — but it won’t completely overshadow the rest of his career.
“When you put it all together, it is a body of work,” Kiper said.
Kiper has Adams ranked as the No. 6 defensive tackle on his recently updated list of draft eligible positional rankings. NFL Draft Scout as the 10th best tackle in the draft pool with a third-to-fourth round grade.
A team could get a steal if the 6-foot-4, 309-pounder falls to day three (fourth round) of the draft.
“There's been a maturity of him,” Auburn defensive coordinator Kevin Steele said. “That's where he's at in the process right now. He's decided, 'OK, I've got all this talent. I'm going to be the best I can be.' He's applying the trade and improving his trade.”
Steele credits with Adams being a key piece of Auburn’s defensive turnaround.
“The thing that goes unnoticed about Mon, everybody sees the fumble recovery, everybody sees the score, everybody sees the quarterback pressure, they see the tackles for losses, but the thing that sticks out to me is he's commanding double teams inside,” Steele said. “They have to double him, and that's huge, because when you've got guys they have to double, it makes run fits a whole lot easier.”