David Montgomery Fantasy
Over the past few rookie drafts, we’ve seen an explosion of talent at the running back position. With 17 running backs being taken in the first two rounds from 2015-2018, NFL general managers are demonstrating the importance of having a dynamic running back on the roster. And if you’re looking for a dynamic runner in the 2019 draft class you need look no further than David Montgomery out of Iowa State University. He is ranked consistently in the top five running back prospects for 2019 and even comes in at number one for some experts. His combination of durability, contact balance, pass protection and pass catching ability set him apart from some of the other backs in this class. And over his last two seasons at Iowa State, he was able to rack up 2,362 yards with 24 rushing touchdowns while catching 58 balls for 453 yards. This made him a key part of the Cyclones’ offense in every phase of the game. In fact, he received right at 75% of the teams running back attempts and still managed to maintain a 4.7 yard per carry average. I personally feel this qualifies him as a workhorse running back with the ability to stay on the field for all three downs which is a valuable asset in today’s NFL.
- Height: 5’10”
- Weight: 222
- Age: 21
- Arms: 31 3/8”
- Hands: 9 1/4”
Montgomery’s rise to the NFL is an inspiration due to his ability to overcome a poverty-stricken upbringing in Cincinnati where he experienced enormous adversity. He is an extremely driven young man who even worked his way to becoming an Eagle Scout, the highest achievement attainable through the Boy Scouts of America. David credits football for putting him on the correct path and he shows immense love and respect for the game, which is reflected through his impeccable work ethic. He is said to be the first one in the gym every morning, even using the offseason to train and focus on perfecting his skillset. This drive led coaches to praise him as the hardest worker on the team and they even said that he inspired the entire football team to train harder. He is a culture-changing player which makes him the type of high character player NFL teams are looking for, that only adds to his value.
NFL Combine Recap
- 40 Yard Dash: 4.63
- Bench Press: 15
- Vertical Jump: 28.5
- Broad Jump: 121
Although Montgomery didn’t break any records at the combine, it doesn’t change his talent profile. We knew he wasn’t super explosive prior to the combine but that doesn’t change his upside. He’s a durable running back that has shown the ability to break tackles and catch the ball. That skill set will make NFL teams more likely to give him the opportunity to prove himself. He may not be an elite running back but he has enough talent to earn the opportunity to start in the NFL. And given the opportunity, he should be able to carve out a role as a fantasy producer. Don’t let his lackluster combine scare you away from drafting this guy.
Strengths & Weaknesses
There are some analysts who have praised Davie Montgomery as a shiftier version of James Conner. This guy has unbelievable contact balance which gives him the ability to be elusive in the open field. With his 109 forced missed tackles in 2017 followed by 100 missed tackles in 2018 he has been able to showcase his ability to shed defenders and gain extra yardage. Although he doesn’t have an extreme amount of burst he has the ability to string together his cuts and use body control to work upfield. Part of what makes him so elusive is his low center of gravity which allows him to lay down some great blocks in pass protection. With that said, he doesn’t have elite top end speed which people hold against him when profiling his skill set. But in my personal opinion, he makes up for his lack of speed with his ability to sustain runs by staying on his feet. The other knock against Montgomery is his tendency to bounce runs to the strong side which could become predictable at the next level. However, Montgomery has shown the work ethic to overcome such deficiencies and if given the right scheme he should flourish.
In recent years we’ve seen players like Todd Gurley, Alvin Kamara, and Saquon Barkley showcase the advantage of having a three-down back on the field. And although I’m not comparing Montgomery’s skill to the elite running backs in the league, he definitely has the pass-catching chops to make a big impact on all three downs. Think of what Kansas City did with Damien Williams post-Kareem Hunt or even what the Pittsburgh Steelers did with Jaylen Samuels in the absence of James Conner. If you insert a player like Montgomery into a similar opportunity share I have no doubt he’d be able to shine. The bottom line is that he isn’t an elite prospect headed into the NFL due to his speed and burst limitations. But if you’ve followed the past few NFL drafts there were plenty of people saying the same thing about Dalvin Cook headed into 2017 and he has shown the ability to translate his skill set to the next level.
Best Fit: NFL Scheme
When looking for a perfect scheme fit for Montgomery you’ll want a team that is committed to the run that also likes to use the running back on passing downs. And luckily for him, there are some teams that are desperate for some consistency at the running back position that fit his skill set.
2nd Ranked Rushing Offense 2018
The Ravens have had a carousel at running back over the last few seasons and with Lamar Jackson coming into his second year they need a three-down running back that can block. David Montgomery has the ability to make an instant impact on pass blocking for Baltimore while also having the ability to roll out of the backfield for check downs. Also, with Jackson’s rushing ability defenses would be hard pressed to maintain coverage on the quarterback read option while also accounting for a guy like Montgomery who can shed defenders at the next level. Not to mention the fact that the Ravens offense has managed to support pass-catching running backs like Javorius Allen and Kenneth Dixon during stretches of the past few seasons. I believe David Montgomery could be the three-down back they’ve been looking for.
28th Ranked Rushing Offense in 2018
With Jay Ajayi headed to free agency and the void of quality starters on the Eagles roster, they need to make some additions to their running back room. This could turn out to be the perfect spot for Montgomery to step in and become a lead back. After the breakout of Dallas Goedert, it is highly likely that the Eagles will look to employ plenty of two tight end sets which could work perfectly to Montgomery’s strengths. The added blocking could give him time to build up speed and truck defenders into the secondary. Also, the Eagles could use a reliable pass blocker to protect Carson Wentz who has struggled with injury over the last few seasons. His reliable hands out of the backfield could be a much-needed addition to the receiving options in Philadelphia as well.
8th Ranked Rushing Offense in 2018
At first glance, the Texans might seem like an unlikely landing spot due to the presence of Lamar Miller and D’Onta Foreman. However, the Texans are tasked with paying Jadeveon Clowney this offseason either via the franchise tag or contract extension. This will undoubtedly cause the Texans to take a cap hit. With Lamar Miller headed into the last year of his contract, the team could save roughly six million dollars simply by cutting him. And although he made the pro bowl in 2018 as an alternative it isn’t likely he will be apart of the Texans future past this year. That’s why I believe the Texans could opt to move on from Miller and bring in a three-down talent like David Montgomery to work with Deshaun Watson, DeAndre Hopkins and Will Fuller in a potentially explosive offense. Also, with the Texans offensive line struggles the offense could use a running back with tackle-breaking abilities like Montgomery.
In dynasty, you’re looking at a first-round rookie pick barring an unfavorable landing spot. For me, the top two running backs in this class are David Montgomery and Joshua Jacobs from Alabama. So with that in mind, Montgomery could potentially be a top 5 rookie pick in your upcoming draft depending on landing spot. For me personally, dynasty rookie drafts are the time to draft running backs with clear opportunity over wide receivers with upside. For every person that drafted Corey Davis 1.01 in 2017 rookie drafts, there were people who cashed in on players like Christian McCaffrey, Dalvin Cook or even Alvin Kamara. That’s not to say that Davis won’t pan out to be a good player in the end but while that owner is waiting for him to develop you could be winning championships with a stud running back. If Montgomery hits a landing spot with clear opportunity share I may even consider taking him 1.01 with the possibility of cashing in on that early production. Don’t forget that the value of young running backs in dynasty skyrockets once they show the potential to be a top 10 option for fantasy teams. You could potentially draft Montgomery and ride his production for a year before cashing out for an established wide receiver next offseason. But something tells me if you end up with this guy on your roster you’re not going to be planning on trading him anytime soon.
Check out Gridiron Experts Dynasty Rookie Rankings.
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