The Bears have kept their backfield under wraps and in shrink wrap this entire preseason. Once they saw what they have in David Montgomery in Week 1 of preseason, he didn’t play another snap. He didn’t even dress for Week 2 of preseason, while Mike Davis did, but also didn’t touch the ball.
We’ve addressed this plenty over the offseason, but the potential role for Montgomery this season is for him to be the Bears’ 3-down back with Mike Davis taking a backseat, and Tarik Cohen playing more of a satellite role. Cohen will likely be placed in better positions to make plays, but not touch the ball as much as he did last year as a result of Jordan Howard being incapable in the pass game.
Montgomery’s ability has impressed most of us and the Bears, so all that talent just needs to meet the desired opportunity. Too bad Matt Nagy has decided to completely hide his hand this preseason when it comes to his backfield. Drafting Montgomery at his price is truly a risk at this point; we are just following the signs pointing in the direction of him being their guy.
As far as Josh Jacobs is concerned, he is at the very least the Raiders early down back. He will be involved in the pass game on early downs, and has a chance to take some third down snaps from Jalen Richard as well. We didn’t see any potential third downs he could’ve played in preseason, as the one entire drive he did play didn’t present that opportunity. He looked good with the opportunity he did get, and with Doug Martin being cut, there is less of a chance of anyone cutting into that early down workload.
The opportunity is clear for Jacobs, while the opportunity is hopeful for Montgomery. The downside for Jacobs is coming off the field for Richard on passing downs in negative game scripts, and the the downside for Montgomery is having an equal share of the backfield with Mike Davis and Tarik Cohen. That being said, I can’t imagine Nagy deploying a 3-man backfield.
If you don’t want to miss out on real upside, draft Montgomery. If you want to be safe, draft Jacobs. If I’m drafting today as my RB2, I’m probably drafting Montgomery.