Column: Best NFL fits for David Montgomery

Former running back David Montgomery practices throwing during Pro Day at Bergstrom Football Complex on March 26, 2019.

Trevor Holbrook

The average NFL career lasts 3.3 years, and running backs stick in the league for an average of 2.57 years.

Draft experts project former Iowa State running back David Montgomery to land somewhere in the middle of the 2019 draft, but considering his position, the team selecting Montgomery is extremely important.

Outside of the best fit, some teams develop fun fits for Montgomery, too. Here’s three of the best and most entertaining potential destinations for the running back.

Kansas City Chiefs

Kansas City, Missouri, located about three and a half hours from Ames is primed to select a running back this season.

The Chiefs parted ways with Kareem Hunt last season after a video surfaced of Hunt kicking and pushing a woman. As a result, Kansas City finished the season with a committee in the backfield of Damien Williams, Spencer Ware and Darrel Williams — each member of the trio finished the season with fewer rushing yards than quarterback Patrick Mahomes.

The Chiefs possess a need at the running back position, but otherwise Kansas City’s offense sits in a favorable spot. Kansas City checks the boxes for a stellar quarterback, tight end and wide receivers paired with a middle-of-the-pack offensive line.

With a slew of weapons and one of the best (if not the best) quarterbacks in the game, Montgomery could jump into the offense in a smaller role and develop as the season progresses.

In the stands, it seems likely a few Cyclone fans would travel down to watch the best Iowa State running back since Troy Davis.

Kansas City holds two late second-round picks, a third-round pick and a fifth-round pick.

Chicago Bears

Another Midwest team with tons of fans in Central Iowa finds itself with a need in the backfield. Chicago, for some reason, shipped running back Jordan Howard to Philadelphia for a sixth-round 2020 pick that could be bumped up to a fifth-round pick.

Coach Matt Nagy and the Bears are left with Tarik Cohen, who’s a small back that only received 99 carries last year, and Benny Cunningham, who secured 11 carries.

With a pretty empty running back room, the Bears should scoop up a running back at some point this offseason.

If Montgomery is drafted by the Bears, he’d join quarterback Mitchell Trubisky and a handful of good but not great wide receivers. Defensively, Chicago is stacked, so Montgomery would have a good chance to fight for a playoff spot — it also sets up a potential NFC North reunion between Montgomery and Green Bay receiver Allen Lazard.

If the Bears pulled the trigger on picking Montgomery, he’d likely go in the third or fourth round, as those are Chicago’s first two picks this year.

New Orleans Saints

A Cyclone running back drafted by the New Orleans Saints; sound familiar? If New Orleans adds Montgomery in the draft, he’d join Troy Davis as a former Iowa State back who moved to the Big Easy.

This destination seems least likely because of New Orleans’ scarcity of picks. The Saints hold a late second-round pick as their first pick, and they don’t go again until the fifth round. The second round could be too early for Montgomery, but the fifth could be too late.

If New Orleans jumps around through trades or lands him with one of their picks, Montgomery would join a team that was an egregious call away from a Super Bowl trip.

Montgomery would play behind running back Alvin Kamara, but it’d be possible he could see the field at the same time as Kamara. Kamara is one of the top young running backs in the NFL, but he sees a lot of action in the passing game that cuts down on his carries.

The Saints also need a replacement for former Heisman Trophy winning running back Mark Ingram, who departed for Baltimore. Ingram accounted for 138 carries last year (Kamara had 194), so New Orleans should look for someone to help fill those carries and not lean too much on Kamara.

Also, Montgomery could see snaps next to future hall-of-fame quarterback Drew Brees.

Brees turned in another good year, but he tailed off a bit toward the end of the regular season. Brees’ pass attempts also dipped last season, throwing 489 times, while he surpassed 500 attempts the previous 13 seasons and nine of those seasons he tossed the rock over 600 times.

As Brees gets long in the tooth, the Saints will likely look to distribute some of the workload, and as fragile as running back careers can be, New Orleans may want to assist Kamara.