I wrote a piece on Thursday identifying 5 needs the Bears could address with their five picks in the 2019 NFL Draft. The positions I targeted were running back, outside linebacker, safety, offensive line and cornerback. With the Bears trading Jordan Howard to the Eagles this offseason, running back felt like the most pressing hole to fill.
When outlining areas of need, one tends to rank the players at those positions, targeting prospects that might be available while crossing off those who should be long gone.
I already scratched off Josh Jacobs of Alabama and Miles Sanders of Penn State, figuring they’d both be gone by the middle of the second round — nowhere near the Bears’ 87th pick in Round 3.
Jacobs went 24th overall to the Raiders — oddly, the pick that the Bears traded to Oakland for Khalil Mack last year — and Sanders was selected nearly one round later at Pick 21 of the second round by the Philadelphia Eagles — strangely, the team the Bears traded Howard to.
That brought me to Iowa State’s David Montgomery, a player I had strong interest in but wasn’t sure he’d last to the Bears’ first pick of the draft.
Apparently, Bears general manager Ryan Pace felt the same thing, as he traded up fourteen spots to nab the running back he so coveted.
“We didn’t want to risk him going off before our pick,” Pace said later about the pick. “We kind of operate with a ‘no regrets’ mindset, so let’s go ahead and move up and acquire this player at that point.”
Montgomery ‘checks all the boxes’
What intrigued me about Montgomery before the draft was that he did everything well. He can run between the tackles — something I feared was lacking in Tarik Cohen and new free agent acquisition Mike Davis. He can also catch passes out of the backfield and pick up yards after the catch. He’s a willing blocker and just an all-around solid football player.
“This guy checks all the boxes for us not only as a player but the person that he is,” Pace added.
Perhaps what is most impressive about Montgomery is his ability to break tackles, setting a Pro Football Focus record for that statistic.
Ladies and Gentlemen – David Montgomery, the most ever missed tackles forced in the PFF era. pic.twitter.com/BTllyeUn8w
— PFF Draft (@PFF_College) November 28, 2017
While Montgomery might not be the home-run threat that football fans have come to love in a fantasy football crazed era, his ability to stay on his feet and keep a run alive will surely have fans on the edge of their seats. As Pro Football Focus puts it: “Few players have the kind of dynamic tackle-breaking ability that Iowa State’s David Montgomery displays almost every time he touches the football.”
David Montgomery, the PFF record holder for most missed tackles forced in a season, returns as the Big 12’s most elusive running back in 2018.
As if you needed a graphic to tell you that.. pic.twitter.com/cDlhhDvYEJ
— PFF Draft (@PFF_College) February 1, 2018
Bears fans will grow to love this guy’s work ethic and will appreciate his effort every time Matt Nagy draws up a play for him.
Iowa State’s David Montgomery broke 6 tackles on this run and still stayed on his feet!
Great Players > Great Schemes pic.twitter.com/Q2GXkCqnKC
— Coach Dan Casey (@CoachDanCasey) June 5, 2018
Where the Bears go from here
The Bears have four picks remaining in the 2019 NFL Draft. That will keep them busy on Saturday’s third and final day.
- Round 4, Pick 24 (126th overall)
- Round 6, Pick 33 (205th overall)
- Round 7, Pick 8 (222nd overall)
- Round 7, Pick 24 (238th overall)
The Bears still could use an additional pass rusher to add to the rotation. They need to shore up their secondary at both safety and cornerback, as the depth is lacking there. And it wouldn’t hurt to add an additional offensive line prospect as well. Kyle Long is getting long in the tooth at guard, and the Bears could use competition for offensive tackle.