WASHINGTON D.C. (KTSM) – It has been far from a normal start to his rookie year in the NFL for El Paso native Steven Montez. The COVID-19 pandemic prevented the Del Valle High School product from participating in the Washington Football Team’s offseason program, the team he signed with after going undrafted in the 2020 NFL Draft.
Montez is finally on the field in Washington as training camp enters its second week across the league. Montez is one of four quarterbacks on the roster, battling for a roster spot.
With the NFL canceling the preseason, Montez will have to prove himself to the coaching staff in practice the next four weeks.
“I feel bad for most undrafted rookies coming in,” said Washington Football Team insider and television analyst Lake Lewis Jr. “You get limited reps to start and when you get a rep, you need it to be on a big scale in order to be seen. Those preseason games, even if it’s late in the fourth quarter and you can show that you can have a game-winning drive, move the team down the field in a two-minute drill — those are the things that stand out.”
At 6-foot-5, 230 lbs., Montez stands out, but will need to make the most of his opportunities to claim a spot. The majority of NFL teams keep three quarterbacks on their roster. Alex Smith, who suffered a gruesome leg injury in 2018 and has started the season on the PUP (physically unable to perform) list, isn’t expected to be cleared for contact anytime soon. Dwayne Haskins will begin the season as the starter, Kyle Allen is the presumptive backup, and then there’s Montez.
“it would have been tough to crack this lineup if Alex Smith could have been the third quarterback. I don’t think we hill be. I think he is going to be on the PUP list for the year, if you ask me,” said Lewis Jr. “I think that opens the door for Montez. Let’s face it, when you’re 6’5, 230 lbs. and can throw it the way he does, you have a chance.”
Montez broke dozens of records in his college career at the University of Colorado. He is the Buffaloes’ all-time leading passer, but showed inconsistencies against quality opponents. He was unable to lead the Buffs to a bowl win in his four years on-campus, but few question his measurables.
Right now, it’s all about learning as much as he can during camp, taking advantage of the reps he does get in practice, and shining when the moment is his. During an NFL season that will be as unpredictable as any other in recent history, Montez could hear his number called sooner rather than later.