David Montgomery is currently projected to become the first Iowa State player taken in the first round of the NFL draft since the 1970s.
SB Nation’s Dan Kadar released his first 2019 mock draft Monday, and Montgomery came in at No. 30 overall to the Pittsburgh Steelers. He is the only running back to come off the board in the first round. Kadar said Montgomery would be a good fit in Pittsburgh given the ongoing contract dispute between the team and All-Pro running back Le’Veon Bell.
The drama surrounding Le’Veon Bell in Pittsburgh isn’t going away. In Montgomery the Steelers may see a running back who can do some of the same things as Bell. At Iowa State last season he had 1,094 yards rushing and 35 receptions for 288 yards.
Iowa State football has produced one first-round pick in program history: running back George Amundson, who was taken No. 14 overall by the Houston Oilers in 1973. The team hasn’t had a second-round pick since tackle Kelechi Osemele in 2012.
With a full season left to play in college, Montgomery’s draft stock could rise or drop dramatically relative to these early projections, and running backs typically aren’t valued as highly as some other positions in the draft. However, two running backs went in the first round of this year’s draft (Rashaad Penny, Sony Michel), and both were seniors with plenty of carries in their college careers. That bodes well for Montgomery if he keeps putting up great numbers in 2018.
Iowa State opens the 2018 season at home against South Dakota State on Sept. 1.