FLOWERY BRANCH, Ga. – Although running back isn’t the Falcons’ most pressing positional need, there’s still a good chance Atlanta will add a running back at some point in the 2019 NFL Draft for depth reasons.
Devonta Freeman will be back in the lineup this season as the Falcons’ No. 1 running back after missing majority of the 2018 season with foot and groin injuries. Freeman played in just two games last season, running the ball 14 times for 68 yards. He also caught five passes for 23 yards.
Behind him, the Falcons have Ito Smith returning who’s likely to be Atlanta’s No. 2 running back. After that, the unit includes the following: Kenjon Barner, Jeremy Langford and Brian Hill.
The No. 3 running back spot will be one position battle to watch in training camp and it could very well include a rookie if the Falcons address the position at the end of April.
So here are three running backs who could be fits for the Falcons:
David Montgomery, Iowa State
A physical running back who doesn’t hesitate from contact and is also a weapon in the passing game. In his final season at Iowa State, he rushed for 1,216 yards and 13 touchdowns. He caught 22 passes for 157 yards. Montgomery doesn’t necessarily have the homerun speed others possess at the position, but he makes up for it with his footwork and his balance.
Elijah Holyfield, Georgia
A one-year starter at Georgia, Holyfield enjoyed a breakout season in 2018 rushing for 1,018 yards and seven touchdowns, averaging 6.4 yards per carry. His best traits are his power and his vision. His unofficial 4.76 second 40-yard dash time at the combine is concerning to a degree and he has limited experience in the passing game, but his power in short-yardage situations is something the Falcons could use.
Tony Pollard, Memphis
A running back, receiving threat and a returner all in one. The Falcons love guys with versatility and Pollard possess just that. Pollard rushed for 552 yards on 78 carries and eight touchdowns. He also caught 39 passes for 458 yards three touchdowns in 2018. He made a name for himself as a returner as he averaged 30.1 yards per return at Memphis. He returned 87 kicks and scored touchdowns on seven of them, tying an NCAA record. The Falcons have a need to fill at returner, making Pollard that much more an intriguing name to follow.