Rookie Rundown: RB David Montgomery, Iowa State

Rookie Rundown: RB David Montgomery, Iowa State

NFL Draft

Rookie Rundown: RB David Montgomery, Iowa State

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Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

David Montgomery is yet another productive college back that dominated despite a lack of elite quickness and speed. A dual-threat quarterback in high school, he ran for 6,666 yards and 91 touchdowns that included 2,707 yards as a senior.  As a sophomore and junior at Iowa State, he averaged over 20 carries per game while topping 100 rushing yards over half the time.

He also doubled as a receiver though less so as a junior before declaring for this year’s draft. He brings in a complete resume as a running back and dominated in most games. But he was already a concern for lack of speed and then turned in a 4.66 40-time at the NFL Combine as one of the slower backs.

Height: 5-10
Weight: 222 pounds
40 time: 4.63 seconds

That all said, there are at least some scouts and potentially NFL teams that are still very high on Montgomery. Limitations tend to become magnified when moving up to the pro ranks. Pure football ability can also transcend what might limit someone else.

Year Games Runs Yards Avg. TD Catch Yards. TD Total Yards Total TDs
2016 12 109 563 5.2 2 13 129 0 692 2
2017 13 258 1146 4.4 11 36 296 0 1442 11
2018 12 257 1216 4.7 13 22 157 0 1373 13

Pros

  • Prototypical size for a primary back
  • Outstanding balance
  • Can elude or run over would-be tacklers
  • Sets up blocks well
  • Outstanding inside rushing skills
  • High-energy rusher that doesn’t tire
  • Reliable short-yardage runner
  • Natural pass catcher with solid receiving skills
  • Proven solid blocker in pass pro
  • Ball security

Cons

  • Style invites hits and had heavy use for two years
  • Lacks elite burst
  • Lacks 2nd level speed
  • Can be caught when moving too much laterally

Fantasy outlook

Montgomery presents an accomplished power back that had great success running between the tackles, blocking on passing downs, catching the ball and rarely losing a fumble. Those are all highly desirable in the NFL and at least some scouts felt that he is among the very best backs to come out this year.

His lack of burst and speed will not help him but while he won’t likely break many long gainers, he’s been very reliable rushing for positive yardage every play and at least reaching the second level. His balance and agility in traffic are his calling card and he can offer a team a solid part of a committee backfield if paired with a faster, more dynamic running back.

As with any rookie back, where he lands will have a tremendous impact on first-year expectations. He’s expected to be drafted in the third or fourth rounds but in the right situation, he could produce fantasy-relevant stats this year. Unlike many other talented backs that lack top-end speed, Montgomery is more than just a pure runner. His receiving skills can keep him on the field for third downs and help him total enough touches to matter for fantasy even as a rookie.

To his credit, he didn’t always have a great offensive line at Iowa State and still succeeded. Montgomery has been linked to the Texans, Steelers, Bills, and Chiefs.

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