When writing the draft-pick profile for Chicago Bears third-round running back David Montgomery, my eyes widened when I saw the name Kareem Hunt pop up as his NFL.com pro comparison.
And to further drive home that comparison, the Bears’ brass spoke up:
#Bears GM Ryan Pace said he does see similarities between RB David Montgomery and Browns RB Kareem Hunt, who starred for coach Matt Nagy in the Chiefs' offense.
— Adam Jahns (@adamjahns) April 27, 2019
Matt Nagy says he sees similarities in Kareem Hunt for David Montgomery. #Bears
— Zack Pearson (@Zack_Pearson) April 27, 2019
We’ll get to that lofty comparison in a moment. But first, let’s hear from someone who coached both players:
Before unleashing Montgomery on Big 12 defenses while at Iowa State, Matt Campbell coached Hunt, back when he was putting up eye-popping numbers at Toledo. So if anyone knows what each back can bring to the table from an on-the-field perspective, it’s that guy.
Montgomery’s last two years (2,362 rushing yards and 24 touchdowns in 25 games) were impressive, but Hunt racked up 5,500 scrimmage yards and scored 45 times in 44 games in college. And you can see why both rushers thrived in Campbell’s system, as both own the ideal power-speed combination that makes a running back hard to bring down.
And in a noteworthy coincidence, Hunt and Montgomery posted similar numbers at the combine.
Well, then. That’s certainly quite interesting that two backs with similar build put up big numbers in Matt Campbell’s offenses, then posted similar numbers at the Combine.
The Bears (and every other team in the NFL) had an opportunity to sign Hunt as a free agent, but it was the Cleveland Browns who signed the Ohio native. Instead, the Bears drafted a player who performed similarly under the same college coach. And while I hate putting a one-to-one comparison on a rookie when the comparable player is a Pro Bowl running back, the similarities are too eerie and too difficult to ignore.