It’s officially rookie draft season! It’s the time of year most of you are scouring through draft articles, videos, and anything else you can get your hands on to give you that edge comes draft time in your fantasy football dynasty leagues. We at FFStatistics plan to give you that edge throughout the off-season leading up to your rookie drafts. In this article, we’ll be covering 2019 NFL Draft prospect David Montgomery.
Prospect Profile Series: David Montgomery, RB
The Break Down:
Name: David Montgomery
School: Iowa State
Hometown: Cincinnati, OH (Mt. Healthy High School)
Height: 5′ 11″
Weight: 217 lbs.
247Sports Combine Score (high school): 0.8348 — 3 Stars — 74th RB — 1203rd Nationally
Best Dominator Rating: 37.7%
Breakout Age: 20
FFStatistics Score: 8.13
David Montgomery runs with great pace. He’s very good at being “slow to, and fast through” — meaning, he’s patient when approaching the line of scrimmage and explodes when he sees his path. He’s a savvy ball carrier who can anticipate running lanes and one who understands how to press the appropriate gaps to help set up his offensive line’s blocks. He reminds me a bit of Le’Veon Bell, the way he waits for his path to show itself and then ‘BOOM’, he explodes through the hole. Below is a clip displaying Montgomery’s vision and patience as he scans all the way to the backside to find his running lane off tackle.
At 5’11” and 217 lbs., David Montgomery is average in height and slightly below average in weight (pending combine #’s) for the running back position in the NFL. Despite his average frame, he runs heavy, ricocheting off tackles, and never shying away from contact. It seemed as if Montgomery grew stronger as games went on, averaging 5.8 yards per touch in the 4th quarter. In the GIF below, Montgomery delivers a blow to a defender because he’s able to bend and become the lower man. Then another GIF displays contact balance and power.
Pad Level: 8.5
When breaking down David Montomgery’s film, it’s apparent that he understands leverage. He’s a very flexible athlete, which allows him to run with great balance and lean. His pad level and balance may be his two best attributes. He’s superb at lowering his center of gravity before contact and wins one-on-one collisions more often than not. Pad level and balance are two of the most important characteristics when judging a running back outside of their raw athleticism.
Montgomery is able to turn and bend at different angles while maintaining the balance necessary to accelerate and cut. Doing so makes him tough to tackle because he’s always changing the tackle angle. The GIF below is a good example of his balance and pad level. He keeps his balance after absorbing the opposing defender’s force and is able to recover then cut to gain more yards while keeping his body lean at an appropriate angle.
Below is another GIF displaying his pad level and balance:
Game Speed: 7.5
If you were to poke some holes in Montgomery’s game it would involve his burst and game speed. He isn’t the fastest guy, but his speed is definitely good enough to get the job done in the NFL. His lack of game-breaking speed is what is keeping him from being named among the upper-echelon of RB prospects in the last five years. This is probably one of the reasons he wasn’t highly recruited. Coming out of high school he only received offers from Miami of Ohio, Cincinnati, and Iowa State, where he attended.
Although, he does display very good quickness and agility. He makes subtle little cuts and moves to avoid defenders to give them poor shots at tackling him. He’s able to plant and move better than most guys his size. Below is a clip of Montgomery bursting through the hole, and he makes a subtle little move at the end to freeze the defender that allows him to score.
Two traits that will allow Montgomery to be a three-down back in the NFL are his hands and his blocking ability. When watching his games I noticed he was always in the right spot when the offense needed him to block. When it was time to make his block he did so with great technique; closing the distance, shooting his hands, and maintaining balance to hold his ground. He also has shown the ability to catch the ball out of the backfield. Montgomery caught 22 of 24 targets this season for 157 yards.
As I’ve displayed throughout this prospect profile, David Montgomery is a very elusive back. You’ve probably noticed this throughout the series of GIFs that I’ve fit within this article. Montgomery has a unique running style. He shows quick feet, a strong lower body, and a will to not be tackled behind the line of scrimmage.
According to a tweet by @PFF_College, David Montgomery led the nation this season in missed tackles per attempt at 0.39 and was ranked first in 2017 and 2018 in forced missed tackles. In fact, in 2017 he had the most forced missed tackles ever recorded by Pro Football Focus. The GIF below shows off the elusiveness and agility Montgomery possesses.
Dynasty Draft Projection (12 teams): 1.1-1.6
Montgomery should be one of the first few backs to be drafted in April. Based on this and my evaluations, I believe Montgomery will be one of the first guys picked in rookie drafts this year. His skill set allows him to be an every-down back, and I would expect him to be a fantasy football contributor next year. All eyes will be on David Montgomery’s numbers at the NFL Combine.