• Position: Runningback
  • College: Iowa State Cyclones
  • Pre-Draft Position Rank: 2 of 39

Age: 21, Height: 5’11, Weight: 216 lbs, Experience: 3 years (college)

Montgomery (32) runs with powerful legs and a high motor that makes him extremely difficult to bring down
  • Average Defense rank: 68.1
  • Average Run Defense rank: 56.8
stats from sports-reference.com

RESUME:

  • Ranked 22nd in rushing yards on the season (1,216)
    • 2nd Most in the Big XII conference
  • Ranked 9th in most carries on the season (257)
    • #1 in the Big XII Conference
  • Tied 27th in rushing Touchdowns (13)
  • Best Game: vs. Kansas State (W 42-38)
    • 19 att, 149 yards, 7.8 avg, 3 rushing TDs, 3 rec, 20 receiving yards
  • Played against 4 ranked opponents (1-3)
    • vs. #5 Oklahoma (L 27-37)
      • 21 att, 82 yds, 1 TD, 1 reception for 7 yards
    • vs. #6 West Virginia (W 30-14)
      • 29 att, 189 yds, 6.5 avg, 1 TD, 1 rec for no yards
    • @ #15 Texas (L 10-24)
      • 10 att, 33 yds, 3.3 avg, 1 TD, 3 rec for 22 yards
    • vs. #13 Washington State (L 26-28)
      • 26 att, 124 yds, 4.8 avg, 1 TD, 4 rec for 55 yards
  • Played against 1 elite defense
    • Iowa ranked, 7th in defense
  • First-team Pro Football Focus All-American (2017)
  • 2× First-team All-Big 12 (20172018)
  • Freshman Campus Insiders All-American (2016)

Strengths:

  • Good vision and anticipation to wait for, then attack when the hole opens up
  • Adequate directional mobility and footwork
  • Strong legs give a powerful step to keep pushing forward in contact
  • Adequate hands make for a good check down option
  • Good IQ, smart enough to know when a play is dead and fight to get back to the line of scrimmage
  • Good Acceleration gets him going quickly
  • Shifty body control makes arm tackling extremely difficult
  • Thrives in congestion, does not alter his path unless absolutely necessary
  • Good ball security
  • Maneuverability at top speed is impressive
  • Extremely high motor
  • High Work Ethic

Weaknesses:

  • Not good at selling the fake
  • Does not have impressive top speed, can be caught in the open field
  • Weak route runner out of the backfield
  • Quickness mid-move can be slow, allowing for some easy tackles
  • Has a bad habit of dipping his head when protecting himself from contact
  • Does not always utilize the open field, preferring to stay within the hashes when running
  • Weak blocker
  • Slightly under ideal weight

Bold Predictions:

  • Draft Placement: Mid 2nd-3rd round
  • Plays like: Chris Carson
  • Ceiling: NFL All-Pro/ Priest Holmes
  • Floor: Practice Squad

Overview:

Before I start with my breakdown, I must bring to your attention that I am a little biased toward Montgomery. As a recent Iowa State Alumni, I spent my entire time at Iowa State being blown away by the playmaking ability of Montgomery. That being said, I will attempt to be as honest as possible when discussing this young man. To start off, Montgomery’s biggest selling point going into the NFL draft is his workhorse style of play. He runs hard, and possesses a good combination of body control, agility, power, and balance, that allows him to consistently hit the line and pick up 4 to 5 yards a carry. It cannot be overstated just how much power Montgomery runs with. He plays with potentially the highest motor in the draft, and his aggressive playstyle demands defenders take him seriously on any given play. His quickness and footwork are top rate as well, as his change of direction and acceleration ensure he can maneuver around and go as soon as the hole opens. An underrated aspect of Montgomery is also his situational awareness and overall football IQ. He is not a flashy player, and very rarely will gamble a huge loss for the potential of a large gain. Montgomery does not dance around the backfield, and instead will work to get back to the line of scrimmage. This is an important note because of his age, as most young runningbacks try to look for daylight and take off for those big yard plays. Montgomery understands when a play is likely dead, and spends most of his energy fighting to minimize damage and fight another day. Montgomery is not without his flaws though, and the most immediate is his lack of top speed. Montgomery is not the type of player to outrun defenders in the open field. His acceleration and directional mobility are great enough that he has that immediate burst that can get him to the next level, but he reaches top speed rather quickly, and has been chased down by speedy corners and safeties on a regular basis. In addition to this, Montgomery will sometimes initiate moves to evade defenders (most common being the spin), but is slow on the rotation, showing his back a few split seconds longer and making for an easy tackle. He is not a good seller on the fake, which can cause problems for play action if it is not set up, and his route running is slow coming out of the backfield. An interesting find is Montgomery does not use the entire open field when he is manages to get by congestion. He instead only really runs between the hashes, and prefers to initiate contact with a defender rather than evade them. Another potential problem is his bad habit of protecting himself by dipping his head and meeting contact with his helmet. This has not caused too many problems so far, but it is not a habit that anyone wants him to continue, as it can increase his chance of injury. When discussing the draft, Montgomery is widely considered a top 5 RB prospect, and will definitely be drafted instead of suffering the rookie free agent treatment like Allen Lazard. One last note for Montgomery is the apparent level of his work ethic. Head Coach Matt Campbell of Iowa State has praised Montgomery on his constant improvement, and attributed him as one of the central pillars that helped to elevate Iowa State from a team known to few as the easy win on the schedule, to a legitimate threat that has gained a reputation as a giant killer with wins over multiple ranked opponents. If Montgomery’s work ethic is not exaggerated, his constant improvement in the NFL could see him reach All-Pro status.