One of the lone bright spots from the Bears offense in 2019 was rookie running back David Montgomery, who after being selected in the third round of the 2019 NFL Draft instantly became a fan-favorite.
Montgomery began the season as the favorite to replace Jordan Howard's lost production after the veteran was traded to the Philadelphia Eagles earlier in the 2019 offseason. There was little competition for Montgomery to rise to the top of the depth chart, with only Mike Davis and Tarik Cohen standing in his path. By Week 2, Montgomery was RB1.
Unfortunately, he didn't receive much help from his offensive line. Montgomery was often met at or behind the line of scrimmage but still managed to produce at a relatively high level. He broke 47 tackles last season, a total that ranked eighth in the NFL, per Pro Football Focus.
By the time the season came to an end, Montgomery carried the ball 242 times for 889 yards and six touchdowns. His 3.7 yards per carry isn't an elite total, but when factoring the disaster that was the Bears' offensive line and passing game, it's pretty remarkable he was able to be that productive.
Montgomery didn't receive much help from the playcalling, either. He received more than 20 carries in just four games and had seven games with less than 15 rushing attempts. A running back who plays with as much physicality and aggression as Montgomery needs more touches to get rolling. He wasn't given that opportunity enough in 2019.
Still, his rookie season was a success. More will be expected from Montgomery in 2020 and a jump in production should come as Nagy builds the running game around his strengths. He should also benefit from improved play from the offensive line as an investment is expected to be made at guard in either free agency or the NFL draft.
Montgomery is one of the few players in 2019 who gave Bears fans a reason to be optimistic about the future. He has the natural ability to run for more than 1,300 yards in any given season, and that's a great thing for a franchise with as a rich of a tradition at running back as Chicago.