A reported heart condition caused Montez Sweat to fall in the NFL draft on Thursday.
When the Washington Redskins saw him available late in the first round, his talent— and a report that his heart condition was misdiagnosed— proved too tempting to pass up.
Washington traded up with the Indianapolis Colts to select the Mississippi State pass rusher with the 26th pick.
Sweat was Washington’s second first-round selection after taking Ohio State quarterback Dwayne Haskins with the 15th pick.
Washington gave up its second-round pick this year (46th overall) and a 2020 second-round pick to move up to select Sweat.
Sweat was a top-10 prospect
An elite prospect, Sweat was considered by many to be a top 10 prospect before he was reportedly flagged for a preexisting heart condition at the NFL scouting combine.
Sweat still wowed at the combine recording a 4.41-second 40-yard dash and a 125-inch broad jump that confirmed the exceptional athleticism he regularly displayed on SEC fields.
Hours before the draft, NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport reported that Sweat may have been misdiagnosed with hypertrophic cardiomyopathy, a thickening of the heart wall that reportedly prompted some teams to remove him completely from their draft boards.
According to Rapoport, Sweat saw Houston orthopedic surgeon Dr. James Muntz, who believes that Sweat was misdiagnosed due an to improper measurement of his heart wall.
Report: Bad measurement
He was measured at the combine with a heart-wall thickness of around 2 centimeters, which would be problematic. According to Rapoport’s report, those measurements mistakenly included the papillary muscle in the diagnosis and that his true heart-wall measurement of 1.5 centimeters is not problematic.
In March, Sweat’s representatives released a statement to NFL.com addressing and downplaying the initial reports of a heart condition.
"Because of privacy issues we are not allowed to comment specifically,” the statement read. “But I will tell you that this is not news. Montez is the same person that was medically cleared to play and dominate the SEC, the Senior Bowl, and the NFL combine. No change in health and no change in domination!"
Sweat dominated SEC backfields
Sweat wreaked havoc in SEC backfields after transferring from Michigan State following his sophomore year.
In 26 games over two seasons with the Bulldogs, Sweat tallied 101 total tackles with 30 of them for loss while recording 22.5 sacks.
He will presumably line up opposite of Pro Bowl pass rusher Ryan Kerrigan to potentially give Washington a dynamic pass rush from both sides.
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