Nobody is ever going to mistake Iowa State as being a historically good football program (or at least not for a very long time), but one thing that the Cyclones have been relatively consistent at is having someone picked in the NFL draft. Now, we’re not talking anything along the lines of Michigan and USC’s 80 year streaks, but most years since the early 60s featured at least one Cyclone being taken in the draft. However, we currently sit at four-year streak of not having a single player drafted.
Most would argue that Allen Lazard being snubbed in last year’s draft was an absolute abomination, but, nevertheless he went undrafted. Before Lazard, though, there wasn’t even anyone on the roster that really had a hope or prayer of being drafted since Jeremiah George was taken in the 5th round by the New York Jets in 2014. The best non-Allen Lazard prospects were probably Demond Tucker, Tom Farniok, David Irving, Joel Lanning, and Kamari Cotton-Moya, but even they never really had a shot at being drafted.
However, salvation is in sight. Whether he leaves after this season or next (he should leave after this season as long as he doesn’t get hurt), David Montgomery in all likelihood will be the player to break that streak. If he has another good season in 2018, there’s even a chance he could break Iowa State’s first round draft pick streak of 45 years. Did we say similar things about Lazard going into last year’s draft? Sure. However, there’s an important distinction to be made between Allen and David.
Allen is a huge receiver with unbelievable hands, but he does lack the burst and top end speeds that NFL offenses value now. To put it simply Allen would have been a mid-to-high draft pick anytime before about three years ago, but his skill set is much more like a modern tight end than a receiver, but modern tight ends are typically about 20-40 pounds heavier than Lazard.
David Montgomery, however, is exactly what modern NFL offenses are looking for. He’s a workhorse, three-down back that’s elusive, powerful, and is an excellent receiver out of the backfield. Not only that, but David has shown to be pretty durable, and has phenomenal ball security. He may not be a burner, but NFL offenses are now valuing versatility and elusiveness at the running back spot over raw speed. With Le’Veon Bell looking more and more like he’s halfway out the door in Pittsburgh, Mongtomery would be a really nice fit in that offense...