He may wear a wide receiver’s number, but make no mistake about it; Ty Montgomery is an NFL running back. The Packers moving 88 to running back may be a sign of things to come not just for them, but also for the running back position throughout the NFL. We’ve all seen Randall Cobb line up at running back and take a hand off every now and then, but that was just a ploy. His stature and durability would never allow him to take the beating required to play running back in the NFL. Montgomery on the other hand, is solid as a rock standing six feet tall and just under 220 pounds. Montgomery had shown flashes as a great runner in his brief NFL career as a return man, but his rookie season was cut short by a severe ankle injury. This may sound odd, but running as a running back is different than running as a wide receiver. Running backs have to make cuts and find holes in tight spaces, where receivers do a lot of their work in the open field. In his brief running back career, Ty has shown the vision and feel needed to have success in the backfield.
Who would’ve thought that injuries to Eddie Lacy and James Starks would open a window that the Packers might’ve never seen and completely changed how running backs may be viewed going forward. Lets be honest, running backs are a dime a dozen. Teams just don’t value the position like they used to. Yeah sure there are guys like Zeke, Le’Veon Bell, and Adrian Peterson (a few years back), but for the most part running backs are replaceable. The emergence of Ty Montgomery may completely change how running backs and wide receivers are drafted going forward.
We all know today’s NFL is very pass heavy, and most running backs need to be able to catch the ball fairly consistently to have success. That being said, after seeing Ty have success at running back scouts may start salivating when they see physical specimen like him running routes at the college level. The jury is obviously still out on Montgomery. Half a season at running back with only 77 carries doesn’t have him on the fast track to Canton. The Packers and their fans have to be excited with the endless possibilities and mismatches Ty represents when he is lined up in the backfield. I am no defensive coordinator, but I know a running back coming out of the backfield with the pass catching ability and speed of Montgomery is mismatch for any linebacker in the NFL. I shouldn’t single out just linebackers, Ty running routes out of the backfield is a mismatch for just about anybody that has to cover him. The process is still in the very early stages, but don’t be surprised to see NFL coaches start converting big, physical wide receivers to running backs going forward.