There’s more than one reason that general manager Ryan Pace views running back David Montgomery as a perfect fit for the Bears.
The Iowa State product, who was selected by the Bears with the No. 73 pick in the third round of the draft Friday night, not only possesses several impressive traits as a football player but just as many as a human being.
“Outstanding production, vision, instincts, contact balance,” Pace said after trading up 14 spots with the Patriots to land Montgomery. “He’s elusive in the hole, and on top of that, he has unbelievable makeup and character. We couldn’t be happier to have him as part of our organization. Everyone in the draft room’s excited. Coaches are excited.”
Montgomery declared for the draft following his junior year at Iowa State, where he appeared in 37 games in three seasons, rushing for 2,925 yards and 26 touchdowns on 624 carries and catching 71 passes for 582 yards.
“He’s just a well-rounded back,” Pace said. “It’s everything you look for in a running back, starting with his instincts, his vision, his ability to make people miss. He’s just a well-rounded player. Good hands. He fits the offense very well.”
Montgomery is adept at breaking tackles and making defenders miss.
“The ability to find a small crease, the ability to find a running lane,” Pace said. “A lot of times it’s not going to be clean. Like with a quarterback, it’s going to be a little dirty, a little gray. His ability to make something happen when everything is not blocked perfectly stands out.”
Montgomery’s ability to catch passes out of the backfield also stands out. His 71 career receptions are the fifth most all-time by an Iowa State running back. It’s a skill that’s required in coach Matt Nagy’s diverse offense.
“We felt comfortable with that,” Pace said. “I would say he has natural hands. He’s good out of the backfield. We’re very comfortable with the total package he brings.”
The Bears are also impressed with Montgomery’s intangibles. The Cincinnati native was a co-captain and team leader at Iowa State, where he helped create a winning culture. The Cyclones suffered through eight straight losing seasons before going 8-5 and reaching a bowl game each of the last two years.
“There are incredible stories about his work ethic,” Pace said. “Going up to the facility late at night and bringing teammates with him to watch additional tape and get extra work in. You just hear one thing after another about his professional approach to the game, how important it is to him and his work ethic is off the charts and how infectious that was to the entire team there.”