The Gut Check No.530: David Montgomery's 2020 Growth Spurt

This week, Matt Waldman looks back at David Montgomery's 2020 campaign and the growth he exhibited as an NFL running back. 

David Montgomery was the butt of jokes last year, thanks to him undergoing a rookie learning curve that led to a backlash from analysts and fans who used the pre-draft declaration of "Running Back Frankenstein," from ESPN's draftniks as a point of derision towards the talent Iowa State star. Last year, Montgomery's play sparked a lot of criticism and fear about his NFL future as a legitimate featured starter:

  • Fears that he was too slow for the league.
  • Concerns that he bounced too many plays outside.
  • Criticisms regarding tentative decision-making.
  • Examples of him leaning too much on one style of footwork.

The first point alarmed most analysts who were critical of him. Of course, it was the last three points—all valid issues—that were correctable over the course of time and could alleviate any concerns about Montgomery's long-term prospects as an NFL starter.

This is exactly what has happened between 2019 and 2020.

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