Iowa State running back David Montgomery has been widely regarded as one of the best running backs in the 2019 class. And I would agree with that assessment. However, we all know that fit is everything in the NFL. So, does Montgomery fit what Matt Nagy wants in his offense? I did a deep dive into his tape to find that out.
David Montgomery would be quite the Replacement for Kareem Hunt in KC pic.twitter.com/F1uOaxMD6r
— JKuhn (@h8rproof82) December 29, 2018
Contact balance is elite. Utilizes his exceptional low center of gravity to stay balanced through contact. Initial tacklers almost always fail to get him down if he gets to the second level. Also knows how to use his body as a battering ram. Delivers some devastating blows to his opponents. Should thrive in short yardage situations if his vision improves as well. Forward lean is evident when fighting for extra yards.
— Matt Bowen (@MattBowen41) February 13, 2019
Is extremely hard to get down in the open field. Jump cuts and jukes are potent. Has a natural feel for where defenders are around him and how to make them miss. Combination of wiggle and power is rare.
Change of direction ability is solid. Has light feet for his size that allows him to cut upfield while moving laterally. Also possesses optimal stop and start quickness that he deploys when cutting. Can redirect his path at full speed with ease.
Skillset translates very nicely to the passing game and has experience running routes at Iowa State. He was a headache for Linebackers to cover in the short/intermediate parts of the field, but not much of a vertical threat. Elusive skills are a good fit in the screen game as well. Hands are capable but isn’t going to make many spectacular catches.
Capable in pass protection. Has the frame and demeanor to get even better. Just needs to work on squaring up his blocks. Very effective as a chip and cut blocker.
Durability was never an issue in college. Possesses the frame to handle a full workload and never had many injuries in college. Run-style does make him more prone to injury though and has some serious “tread on the tires.”
Vision is inconsistent. Doesn’t consistently read leveraged defenders on zone runs. Also rarely improvises when the point of attack is clogged on power runs. Has a bad habit of running into the scrum of players for little gains in these situations. However, shows flashes of exceptional creativity when breaking out of the structure of the play. Much more comfortable in space than in between the tackles.
Burst and long speed aren’t ideal. Can create a nice jolt of explosiveness when jump cutting forward. Yet, can’t translate that same momentum into foot speed. Often runs at a lulled pace in order to be methodical with his movements. Doesn’t possess the long speed to threaten defenses vertically as well.
Average Athlete. Didn’t underachieve at the combine because nobody was expecting him to blow it up. But athletic testing definitely confirmed that he is not an elite athlete.
Best Trait: Contact Balance
Worst Trait: Long Speed
David Montgomery is an extremely dynamic ball carrier. His combination of power and elusiveness is truly special. His receiving ability is also very enticing. Matt Nagy talked about how he wanted a back that could be effective on all 3 downs and Montgomery checks that box.
Now, he might not be a world class athlete but he has enough athleticism to be productive in the NFL. My biggest issue with Montgomery is his inconsistencies with his vision. It is concerning that he still struggles with seeing the holes after 3 years in the same offensive system. Not saying he makes the wrong read on every play but he does leave too many yards on the field.
With all of this being said, I believe that Montgomery would still plug right into the Bears’ offense and thrive. His skill set is perfect for what the Bears are looking for, especially if Nagy wants to run more gap power concepts. Montgomery’s issues with vision do minimize his effectiveness in zone schemes. Yet, I still believe he can get better in this area.
I don’t know if Montgomery will be available for Ryan Pace, but if he is, I would strongly consider pulling the trigger on him. Because the returns could be huge.
Follow Thomas on Twitter @tomkavanaugh44