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NFL Draft 2019 Rumors: Is Montez Sweat’s heart condition scaring teams away?

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The big pass-rusher is reportedly off a few team’s boards.

NFL Combine - Day 4 Photo by Joe Robbins/Getty Images

Montez Sweat’s workout at the 2019 NFL Combine was one for the ages. The 6-foot-6, 260-pound edge rusher posted incredible results in nearly every drill, particularly considering his size and position on the football field.

Furthermore, Sweat comes with proven college production, recording double-digit sacks in each of his two seasons at Mississippi State University. That combination of size, athleticism, and production helped drive Acme Packing Company to select him for the Green Bay Packers with the 12th pick of the 2019 SB Nation Writers’ Mock Draft.

However, there is one specific concern with Sweat. Medical examinations at the Combine revealed a heart condition, and this appears to be concerning to at least some NFL teams. Despite the NFL’s medical staff determining that he was fit to work out in Indianapolis and even deciding that he would not need to return for follow-up exams, that condition is seemingly making a few NFL teams pause.

On his podcast this week, former NFL general manager Mike Lombardi discussed Sweat, reporting that sources told him that multiple teams have removed Sweat from their draft board amid concerns about that heart issue. That could set up a fall for Sweat down the first-round draft board, despite him being one of the players scheduled to attend the first round in Nashville next Thursday.

These concerns about Sweat’s heart are likely one reason why he has taken so many official visits during this year’s draft process. He has reportedly met with at least ten NFL teams, and each team probably had its own medical staff check him out.

Although every medical condition is different, the Packers have acquired players with heart conditions before, including edge rushers. In 2014, the Packers signed rookie Alabama pass-rusher Adrian Hubbard as a free agent after his heart issue helped contribute to him going undrafted. Naturally, that signing was contingent on his passing a physical exam, and the visit that the Packers hosted for Sweat suggests that they did their due diligence on him as well.

Of course, around this time of year there is misinformation swirling around every draft pick and franchise, so take this rumor with a grain of salt. But if the Packers are comfortable that Sweat’s heart will not be a problem for his career as a football player, there is a chance he will indeed be available when they go on the clock with the 12th overall pick.