Chicago Bears rookie running back David Montgomery will get his first taste of NFL regular-season action Thursday night against the Green Bay Packers, and expectations around the third-round pick are as high as any skill-position rookie in the league.
Montgomery has a fantastic opportunity to meet those expectations, too. Veterans Mike Davis and Tarik Cohen will both have a role in the running game, but it's Montgomery whose all-around skill set gives him the best chance for the most touches in the backfield.
And why shouldn't he? According to coach Matt Nagy, Montgomery has first-round talent.
“His strength is he’s very humble and he has zero expectations,” Nagy said of Montgomery via Yahoo Sports. “We didn’t have a first-round pick, we didn’t have a second-round pick … and when he was sitting there, to us, he was a first-round talent.”
The only running back selected in this year's first round was Oakland's Josh Jacobs, who will be coach Jon Gruden's bellcow all season. Aside from Jacobs, Montgomery may be the only rookie runner with a great chance to emerge as his team's feature back early in 2019.
“He wants the ball every play, every rep in the preseason,” Nagy said. “He wants special teams, whatever he can — he wants to do it all. Everything about his life is football.”
Montgomery finished his final season at Iowa State with 257 carries, 1,216 yards and 13 touchdowns. His running style -- specifically his balance through contact -- will make him a fan favorite in Chicago.
And if he can truck a few Packers defenders Thursday night? Lookout. The Montgomery hype train will be racing full steam ahead.