If the Chicago Bears are going to get back to the playoffs this year, they need more of their young guys to step up. The stars like Allen Robinson, Khalil Mack, Akiem Hicks, and Eddie Jackson will do their jobs. The big question is whether any of the most recent draft picks are ready to take that next step up from role player to front line contributor. Plenty of names around the NFL are predicted to do just that in 2020. By far the hottest for the Bears is running back David Montgomery.
A panel of top NFL insiders including Judy Battista, Jeffri Chadiha, Michael Silver, and Jim Trotter got together to discuss their choices for who is most likely to break out this coming season. There were some obvious ones like Kyler Murray, Daniel Jones, and Drew Lock. Chadiha though considers Montgomery one of the most reliable choices.
“That’s why Chicago Bears running back David Montgomery is a safer pick. He had a solid rookie season (889 rushing yards and seven total touchdowns), but he’s capable of so much more with a better offense. The Bears ranked 29th in the NFL in total offense last year, largely because embattled quarterback Mitch Trubisky struggled so mightily. That all could change if Nick Foles wins the job or simply pushes Trubisky to play at a higher level.
Remember this: Bears GM Ryan Pace made a sizable investment to trade up in the third round to select Montgomery (giving up three picks). The belief was that Montgomery would be a workhorse back, and he showed that potential late in the season. In Chicago’s final three wins of 2019, he gained 274 yards and averaged 4.6 yards per carry.”
David Montgomery produced despite less-than-ideal circumstances
This isn’t the first time Montgomery was a breakout pick. Several prominent experts see improvement coming from the former 3rd round pick out of Iowa State. A lot of Bears fans seem ready to give up on him after just one season. This despite actually having a solid year. One where he topped 1,000 yards from scrimmage and scored seven touchdowns. The beef people seem to have is the average 3.7 yards per carry he managed.
That isn’t what Jordan Howard would’ve gotten, some have argued. Of course they forget Howard averaged 3.7 yards per carry in 2018. The reality is Montgomery was the victim of some pretty atrocious blocking by the offensive line last season. A big reason line coach Harry Hiestand was fired along with offensive coordinator Mark Helfrich.
Hope is there will be improvement in that area this year. If so, then it’s natural to expect Montgomery to be the biggest beneficiary.