Editor’s Note: Check out all of our Rookie Profiles leading up to the 2019 NFL Draft.
This year’s running back class is very similar to the wide receiver class…depending on what an NFL team is looking for at the position, the rankings can vary. If you’re needing a speed and home-run threat, Darrell Henderson is going to be higher up on your rankings. However, if you’re needing a well-balanced back who can do a little of everything, you need to look at David Montgomery.
David Montgomery, formerly of the Iowa State Cyclones, is a player that NFL scouts and media appear to be divided on. While some are “all in” due to his skill set and what he brings to the table, others are turned off due to his athletic testing. Montgomery has never been the prospect that scouts expected to come to the combine and put on a show. His performance in Indianapolis only validated that theory.
NFL Scouting Combine Overview
|Height/Weight||40 yard Dash||Bench Press||Vertical Jump||Broad Jump|
|5'10"/220 Pounds||4.63 Seconds||15 Reps||28.5 Inches||121 Inches|
Montgomery won’t wow anyone with his speed, his strength isn’t anything to gawk at and a below average vertical jump displays a lack of explosiveness in his lower body.
However, with all that being said, Montgomery is a great football player.
— Matt Bowen (@MattBowen41) February 13, 2019
While the testing numbers may not be ideal, Montgomery is a special talent at the running back position. He’s fluid, displays great vision and quickness on his feet and shows great balance. He has the skill set of a workhorse back in the NFL and his stats in college proved that he can handle the workload.
|Year||Rushing Yards||Yard Per Carry Average||Rushing TD's||Receptions/Receiving Yards||Receiving TD's|
Montgomery was able to carry the Cyclones offense in 2017 & 2018 with a total of 515 carries. While his YPC average isn’t anything spectacular, he was constantly picking up the tough yards and moving the chains. He proved to have a nose for the end zone as well with 24 touchdowns in that time span.
David Montgomery is a dude. pic.twitter.com/92qiY57GLj
— Max Olson (@max_olson) October 28, 2017
His ability to pick up the tough yards, combined with his receiving ability, means that Montgomery will rarely have to come off the field in the NFL.
Montgomery is a great running back and one of the most balanced prospects in this year’s class. However, even though Montgomery can do everything asked of an NFL running back, he doesn’t do one thing exceptionally well. In my evaluation of his tape, Montgomery doesn’t have breakaway speed, he doesn’t have elite hands in the receiving game, and he isn’t going to run through a safety at the line of scrimmage, etc.
Coupled with that is the concern of the workload Montgomery has seen over the past two years. Has he seen too much work to come in and provide a spark right off the bat for his future team? Is he going to be able to pile on 250+ touches moving forward or will he break down somewhere along the way? These are questions NFL teams are going to have to wrestle with going into the draft…
However, there’s no denying the talent and abilities that Montgomery possesses and how those could easily translate to success in the NFL.
Iowa State RB David Montgomery showing some short area quickness and ability to make defenders miss in space. pic.twitter.com/rmbkJVKfIp
— Jordan Reid (@JReidNFL) June 1, 2018
With all that being said, my player comparison for Montgomery is Kareem Hunt. While Hunt lacks the lateral agility Montgomery has, their games are very alike and I believe they can make a similar impact in the NFL. It’s just a question of whether he’s drafted to a team that has an opening for him to step in and contribute right away or if he’ll have to beat out another running back in camp to encounter the type of workload fantasy owners would want to see.