Since the Packers cut their veteran backs, James Starks and Christine Michael, after Eddie Lacey defected and then drafted three shiny young pups to battle for backup snaps, there’s been a lot of talk about how Ty Montgomery will hold up as the top running back.
Many still view TyMo as a converted receiver and wonder if a receiver’s body can stand up to running back punishment. Through his pre-pro career, though, he was actually a running back and his shift to receiver was the less natural fit (his senior year in high school, he had 93 rushes compared to only 17 receptions and in college he had 40 carries for for 318 yards – an impressive 6.5 per carry – and 4 touchdowns).
Packer fans are also used to seeing Eddie Lacey bumping between tackles while carrying around 270 pounds at times – more than Jerome Bettis or Christian Okoye. At times, he looked like the Jared Lorenzen of running backs.
So the concern is understandable.
So how should a top running back be built for the NFL game? Let’s start by looking at the top 5 rushers from last year and see how they’re built:
- Ezekiel Elliot – 6’0″ 225
- Jordan Howard 6’1″ 223
- DeMarco Murray 6’0″ 220
- Jay Ajayi 6’2″ 220
- Le’Veon Bell 6’1″ 225
The next 5 are all similar, but I didn’t feel like typing them all out – Blount was an outlier at 250 pounds (which may partially explain his 3.9 ypc).
So how does Ty Montgomery stack up? His build is 6’0″ 216. That’s pretty much right in line with the top rushers in the league. He may be a few pounds lighter, but looking back at that picture, he may also have a lower body fat percentage.
The bigger difference that he averaged 5.9 yards per carry, which was better than all of those guys.
He may be small compared to Lacy, but he’s faster and his size is in alignment with the top backs in the league.
Running backs get hurt and TyMo may very well get injured (just like the top backs in the league get banged up and miss time), but it’s not because he’s too small.
The Packers don’t need a dominant power running game to fuel their offense, they just need to complement the most talented quarterback to ever play.
With Montgomery and some new young options running behind a top offensive line, that’s exactly what they have.