Can Iowa State’s David Montgomery make NFL teams look past his lack of elite speed?
Running back shouldn’t be a position of priority for the New York Giants. However, we should still be aware of the running backs in 2019 NFL Draft class. Both because the Giants might end of facing them in the 2019 season and because doing so will help us set an accurate board in advance of the draft.
Oh, and because we’re all football fans here, right?
It isn’t unusual to see highly rated running backs come out of Alabama, or LSU, or other major football powerhouses. It is somewhat more uncommon to have the young man who could be the top back in the draft comes from Iowa State. But that is exactly from where David Montgomery hails. And while he didn’t get as much national recognition in college, he could very well known in the NFL.
Height: 5-foot 11 inches (listed)
Weight: 216 pounds (listed)
- Incredible contact balance.
- Very flexible through hips, knees, and ankles.
- Great use of subtle head and shoulder fakes to set up defenders.
- Good vision to set up and exploit blocks.
- Patient behind the line of scrimmage, good burst through the hole.
- Sudden out of cuts.
- Effective stiff arm and spin move to slip would-be tacklers.
- Capable receiver out of the backfield, used as a slot and wide receiver as well.
- Willing and capable pass protector.
- Good acceleration, but doesn’t have much top-end speed.
- Frequently used. 573 combined touches over the last two years.
- Occasionally looks too hard for a cut-back lane.
What They’re Saying
“Like James Conner, Montgomery isn’t a burner by any stretch of the imagination. But the two backs have been blessed with tremendous “contact balance.” Hits of any kind from any angle just don’t impact their equilibrium as much as the majority of runners. It allows them to stay on their feet to gain extra yards without being risky lower-the-head, look-for-contact ball-carriers.
Ironically, Conner also weighed 233 pounds at the combine and ran a 4.65. Montgomery will probably run closer to that range, and he’s currently listed at 5-foot-11 and 216 pounds.
But teams that fell in love with Saquon Barkley’s contact balance, amazing shiftiness, and vision in tight quarters but picked after the Giants in Round 1 of the 2018 Draft may want to target Montgomery in the early stages of the second round in 2019.
At the very least, the club that drafts him will get a more agile version of Conner.”
Does He Fit The Giants?
While Montgomery would fit the GIants’ offensive scheme, they shouldn’t invest the resources needed to acquire him in the running back position.
That being said, Montgomery is a fun back to watch. He didn’t have a great offensive line in college, but he still managed to be consistently productive on the ground and through the air. He isn’t a burner by any means, and won’t run away from most linebackers (let alone defensive backs). However, he does have enough burst out of his breaks to hold them off for a bit and make a race of it.
But what makes Montgomery a particularly effective back is his absurd balance through contact. It is next to impossible for the first tackler to bring him down cleanly, and he will run through or bounce off any attempt to shoulder check or arm tackle him. Watching Montgomery run, and his refusal to be brought down, is something like watching a slightly slower Marshawn Lynch in action.
Helping to maximize that balance and strength, Montgomery is excellent at using quick, subtle fakes with his head and shoulder to get would-be tacklers to break down an instant too early, before hitting a gliding jump-cut to force a whiff.
Montgomery will likely slip some in the draft after the NFL Scouting Combine. On the field he looks to be roughly a “4.6” player. But like Arian Foster, his game is not predicated on speed and he doesn’t need to burn up the field to turn small creases into big gains.