NFL Draft 2019: Montez Sweat’s Heart Condition
What is Sweat’s heart condition and how will it affect where he is drafted?
Team sources have reported that Montez Sweat has Hypertrophic Cardiomyopathy (HCM). Physicians have indicated that it will not impede his ability to play, but reports are indicating that teams are avoiding him altogether in the draft.
Who is Montez Sweat?
Sweat is a 6’6, 260 lb EDGE rusher that recorded combine numbers that blew most position players out of the water. He also recorded 22.5 sacks in two full years at Miss St & has an enormous wingspan & hand size. He checks all the boxes that an NFL team desires.
What is HCM?
The heart is one big muscle that has 4 chambers. There is one chamber (LV) that sends blood out to the body. Athletes that are constantly training at a high level need this chamber of the heart to work harder to provide their body with enough blood.
Similar to other muscles in our body, the heart muscle can become thicker based on the amount of stress that it experiences. In athletes, it is common for the muscular walls of the LV to increase in mass as it adapts to intense training. It is a normal response and it is actually known as “Athlete’s Heart”. In this case, if the athlete limits their training, then their heart can return to normal.
Unlike “Athlete Heart”, HCM results in permanent and larger thickening of the wall of the LV. HCM is an inherited disease that presents differently in most people. Overall, the thickened heart muscle can make it more difficult to pump blood.
What are the effects of HCM?
HCM is the most common cause of Sudden Cardiac Death (SCD) in young athletes. In these cases, athletes often have an abnormal heartbeat and episodes of passing out due to abnormal blood flow. On the other hand, many people with HCM have little to no symptoms and have been clear by a doctor after a detailed description of potential risks.
Bottom Line: There are risks that are associated with any level of HCM so it makes sense for teams to be cautious with their multi-million dollar 4-year investment. Nevertheless, Sweat has a special skill set with the tape to back it up. It is a classic risk vs reward scenario. Don’t be surprised if Sweat slides down the draft boards tonight.
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