When the Chicago Bears selected former Iowa State RB David Montgomery in the third round of the 2019 NFL Draft, it was assumed he'd be in the mix for starter's reps with veterans Mike Davis and Tarik Cohen. Then came Week 1's preseason debut against the Carolina Panthers, and the expectations surrounding Montgomery have gone from potential contributor to the presumed lead back.
To be fair, that's a huge leap to take for a first-year player with no regular-season experience, especially considering Davis' skill set and Cohen's field-flipping ability. Both running backs will have a role on offense, which could limit some of Montgomery's upside in 2019.
But that hasn't stopped NFL analysts from pegging Montgomery as one of the most exciting rookies to watch this fall.
Long-time NFL writer Mike Tanier recently published his list of 10 impact rookies (non-QBs and non-1st-rounders) to watch in 2019, and Montgomery topped the list.
David Montgomery, running back, Bears: Tarik Cohen is the Human Joystick. Montgomery may be the Human Modern Console Game Controller: bigger, more versatile, but still loaded with a full array of highlight juke moves.
Montgomery's college tape is a display of vision, lateral agility and rare contact balance. He put all of those traits on display against the Panthers, creating confidence that his skill set will translate nicely to the NFL.
Matt Nagy made the decision to rest the Bears' starters (and key depth players) the entire preseason, and after his Week 1 showing, Montgomery joined that club of summer inactives. It was a decision that's only fueled the narrative around the rookie runner.
Montgomery's bid for stardom gets underway Thursday night against the Packers in Week 1's opening kickoff.
David Montgomery dubbed 1 of 10 impact rookies to watch in 2019 originally appeared on NBC Sports Chicago