We knew the Bears were going to take a running back at some point in the 2019 NFL Draft. But what we didn’t know is that they would trade up to get him. David Montgomery joins Tarik Cohen and Mike Davis in a backfield that is expected to a little bit of everything to take Matt Nagy’s offense to the next level. Let’s meet the new guy!
THE PICK (ROUND 3, PICK 73)
- Name: David Montgomery
- College: Iowa State
- Position: Running back
- Age: 21
- Height, weight, hand size, arms: 5-foot-10, 22 pounds, 9-1/4 inches, 31-3/8 inches
NEED TO KNOW
- 2018 stats: 12 games, 257 rushes, 1,216 yards, 13 touchdowns; 22 catches, 157 yards
- Career stats: 624 rushes, 2,925 yards, 26 rushing touchdowns; 71 catches, 582 yards; 695 touches, 3,507 scrimmage yards, 26 total touchdowns
- College accomplishments: First-team All-American (2017, Pro Football Focus), First-team All-Big 12 (2017, 2018), Freshman All-American (2016, Campus Insiders)
Bears fill the void from this offseason's Jordan Howard trade
— Bleacher Report NFL (@BR_NFL) April 27, 2019
- 40-yard dash: 4.63 seconds
- Bench press: 15
- Vertical: 28.5 inches
- Broad jump: 121.0 inches
- Hard to tackle. Montgomery might not have elite foot-speed, but he possesses a powerful running style that forces a ton of broken tackles. According to Pro Football Focus, Montgomery broke 100 tackles last season – which is the most since the site started tracking that particular stat. Montgomery runs hard through arm tacklers and powers through defensive backs when the ball is in his hands, and it will be nice to see him do that at the next level.
- Reliable hands. Part of Montgomery’s allure is his pass-catching ability. He caught 71 passes over three years, with 58 of those coming in the last two seasons when he was Iowa State’s featured back. In addition to his pass-catching potential, Montgomery is known to be strong when he has the ball in his hands. Montgomery fumbled just three times (!!!) in 695 touches.
- Elusive. On top of being a load to tackle, Montgomery has agility and elusiveness in the open field. The combination of good field vision and light feet allow Montgomery to make cuts, then explode into space.
- Work load. Montgomery was a one-man show of sorts as a load-carrying back the last two years for the Cyclones. Montgomery’s 257 carries checked in as the ninth most in 2018, while his 258 rushes in 2017 were the 15th most. Thankfully, Montgomery won’t be asked to be a volume rusher with Mike Davis and Tarik Cohen splitting carries out of the backfield (not to mention guys like Cordarrelle Patterson, Anthony Miller, and Taylor Gabriel who get carries).
- Timed speed lacking. Montgomery ran the 40-yard dash in a disappointing 4.63 seconds at the NFL Scouting Combine. Perhaps that is one reason the No. 2 running back on the draft boards of PFF, Daniel Jeremiah, and Bucky Brooks was drafted behind prospects ranked behind him. Montgomery ran a 4.57 40-yard dash on his pro day at Iowa State, which suggests there is some speed in his frame.
- Apparent lack of breakaway speed. Under-performing when it comes to the 40-time is one thing, but the limited number of breakaway runs from Montgomery during his college days is a bit disappointing. Many of Montgomery’s highlights showcase his juke moves and ability to bust through tacklers, but where are the game-breaking, blow-by-everybody runs? Maybe he is saving them for the pros!
NFL.COM COMPARISON: Kareem Hunt.