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Bears rookie David Montgomery shining as pass catcher

David Montgomery, Bears

Chicago Bears rookie running back David Montgomery is going to have a lot on his plate. The team traded away Jordan Howard this offseason, clearing the way for a lot of playing time. Montgomery will share time in the backfield with Tarik Cohen and potentially Mike Davis or others, but as of right now he profiles as the lead ball carrier.

Montgomery should be able to easily fill Howard’s role as the early-down runner, but the team apparently also thinks he can help them in the passing-game.

“We always knew he had great hands. You don’t know how great of a route runner a college back is, but he’s a really good route runner. . . . This kid can’t wait,” coach Matt Nagy said recently, per Patrick Finley of the Chicago Sun-Times.

“He’s quiet,” Nagy said. “But he’s so driven, and you can just see how competitive he is, and he wants to be perfect on every single play. So he’s gonna practice the way he plays. And he’s making plays.”

It sounds like Montgomery is making quite the impression early on. Nagy is right that it’s sometimes hard to project how college backs will transition as receivers, so it’s good to see they’re comfortable throwing to him.

If Montgomery can hold his own in pass-protection, continue to have good hands, and run good routes, then he should have a good chance of earning a role on passing-downs. That means he’ll be on the field a lot, and could see a ton of volume as a rookie.

In his junior season at Iowa State last year he didn’t have a huge role as a receiver, catching 22 passes for 157 yards. It sounds like he could easily eclipse that in his first NFL season.