Chicago Bears rookie David Montgomery has been touted nationally as an Offensive Rookie of the Year candidate, and PFF data confirms that he could be one of the most impactful rookie runners in the entire NFL.
PFF has analyzed every single FBS rushing attempt over the past four seasons. Montgomery's 0.37 forced missed tackles per attempt average in 2018 is tied for the highest mark in that span. The other player's season he's tied with is none other than his very own 2017 year. This data point ranks ahead of Saquon Barkley, Kareem Hunt and any other running back who has recorded a collegiate season since 2014. In the same period, Montgomery also ranks third in missed tackles forced per reception (0.471) behind only Alvin Kamara and Sony Michel. Simply put, the former Iowa State Cyclone rarely goes down against the first defender.
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When looking at his per-play efficiency, Montgomery averaged just 4.7 yards per carry in 2018, which ranked 124th among FBS running backs with 100-plus carries. As you can see from the chart above, missed tackles forced have a low correlation (0.17) to yards per carry on account of the countless outside factors. But don’t let his meager yards-per-carry mark fool you — the Iowa State run-blocking unit was less than desirable in 2018. The offensive line allowed for Montgomery to be contacted before the line of scrimmage on 127 of his 262 attempts, the most among Power-5 teams. He was also the only back who had 75-plus such carries in the FBS to earn a 70.0-plus grade in these situations.