INDIANAPOLIS -- LSU pass rushers Sam Montgomery and Barkevious Mingo are two potentially great defensive ends/outside linebackers. But when you get them in the same room, they're more like two hyperactive kids who can't stay out of each other's way. This was true when all the pass rushers hit the podiums at the scouting combine on Saturday. Montgomery went first, and talked about the bets he and Mingo, who played together on LSU's outstanding defense from 2010 through 2012, and redshirted together in 2009, had with each other.
In their final collegiate season, the two ends combined for 39 solo tackles, 11.5 sacks, five passes defensed, and three forced fumbles. Though they are clearly close friends, Mingo and Montgomery couldn't keep from competing -- even at their respective podiums.
Montgomery started it off by talking about the wagers he had with Mingo at LSU, which we're sure is some sort of moronic NCAA rules violation. Paging Mark Emmert!
"Of course, you know we had three bets going on," Montgomery recalled. "One was who had the higher [number of] sacks for a thousand dollars. I won that [8.0 to Mongo's 4.5]. I can't remember the $500 bet -- oh yeah, it was who had the most sacks in the last game, I won that. Now we are fighting to compete to who is highest in the draft. That amount of money is pretty big, so I have to come up with this one."
Right now, Montgomery will have to play a bit of catch-up to do so. Both players are projected by many to go in the first round or close to it, but most analysts have Mingo a bit higher -- he's third in NFL Draft Scout's defensive end rankings, while Montgomery is eighth. Mingo approached his podium session with the confidence of a man who has a pretty good idea he'll hear his name called on the first day of the draft, and he talked about those bets right away. Of course, he remembered them a bit differently.
"We've had quite a few bets in our career," Mingo said. "I think our first one was the first sack for the season. He was supposed to wash my car because I won, and he hasn't done that. Then, we have most sacks in the season and on down the line."
The latest one, for who gets drafted first, has a prize of $5,000.
"I'm pretty confident in myself," Mingo said. "He's gonna have to come with that one, and I get a car wash."
About halfway through Mingo's presser, he was asked if he'd miss playing with "that guy over there." ("No, not at all," Mingo replied with a big smile.) Lo and behold, it was Montgomery, sitting in the media seats, ready to ask his old linemate a few questions.
"Who's the best defensive end in this draft?" Montgomery queried.
"I think my speed separates me from every other guy in this draft," Mingo responded. "I'm a fast guy and I've got a quick first step and I like getting to the quarterback."
At the end of his presser, I asked Mingo if he had any questions for Montgomery. Keeping it fair and balanced, you know.
"What are you doing here?" Mingo asked his buddy. "Why don't you go eat?"
"Support system," Montgomery said.
And there you had it.