Iowa State’s NFL Draft drought is over.
The Chicago Bears traded up and selected Cyclone running back David Montgomery with the 73rd pick, in the third round Friday night in Nashville, Tenn.
Iowa State had not had a player picked in the NFL Draft since linebacker Jeremiah George was selected in the fifth round in 2014.
The Bears, who traded Jordan Howard to the Eagles, needed a back to pair with Tarik Cohen.
“It makes a lot of sense because of the loss of Jordan Howard,” ESPN’s Trey Wingo said.
Montgomery was a first-team All-Big 12 pick, running for 1,146 yards on 258 carries, with 11 touchdowns. He also caught 36 passes for 296 yards.
“He’s dependable and won’t cough the football up,” ESPN’s Mel Kiper said of Montgomery, the fourth running back chosen in the draft. “He’s not real explosive, but could prosper.”
The pick was the first of the draft for the Bears, who gave up their first-round pick to acquire linebacker Khalil Mack, and their second-round pick to grab receiver Anthony Miller in the 2018 draft. They moved up 14 spots to grab Montgomery, giving up their fifth-round pick this year and fourth-round pick next year.
“The impact David had on the Iowa State football program, the university and to our great community is impossible to quantify,” Iowa State Coach Matt Campbell said in a release. “He will undoubtedly be remembered as one of the all-time greats to wear the Cardinal and Gold, but his legacy will extend far beyond the field. He truly led the culture change within our walls.
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“I am so excited for David and his family as he takes his next step in his journey in the NFL.”
Receiver Hakeem Butler, like Montgomery, declared for the draft after his junior season, but wasn’t chosen Friday night, and remains one of the “best players available.”
The draft continues at 11 a.m. Saturday on ABC, ESPN and NFL Network. The draft concludes with the fourth, fifth, sixth and seventh rounds.
Iowa safety Amani Hooker and defensive end Anthony Nelson — both early entrants — are among the “best players available” Saturday.
Tight ends T.J. Hockenson (Detroit Lions) and Noah Fant (Denver Broncos) went in the first round Thursday night.