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A Simple Scouting Look at Wayne Gallman
The “Simple Scouting” articles are done with an eye towards simplifying a sometimes complicated scouting process. All clips are courtesy of DraftBreakdown.com.
The running back position is always one of the more interesting positions in the NFL Draft every season. Analysts spend hours watching tape and coming up with rankings, and those lists are generally completely different from every other one. Then, the draft comes, and those lists are immediately rendered useless, as NFL teams have rankings of their own.
One running back whose name is all over the place at this point is former Clemson Tiger Wayne Gallman. Gallman was a very productive player during his time in college. He rushed for 2,647 yards in the last two seasons, with 30 touchdowns. Add on the 378 yards and one score receiving, and he was a huge part of the Clemson offense. But what are his pro prospects?
At 6’0″, 210 pounds, Gallman has good size, but he’s not especially effective as an inside, bruising runner. When running between the tackles, he generally falls forward, which is important, but he doesn’t bring a ton of physicality. He does, however, possess good balance, and can absorb contact to bounce off of poor tackle attempts. Here, a bit of trickery comes into play, as the receiver catches the ball, then tosses it to Gallman. A defender comes in quickly, but doesn’t wrap up and Gallman stays upright, and gets upfield for a solid gain.
Here’s another subtle show of not only his strength, but his determination to make a positive play. Gallman makes a nice cut, then turns up, into the running lane. A defender grabs him from behind, but Gallman keeps his legs churning, and drags that defender for another four or five yards, even as he takes a hit from another defender.
Perhaps the strongest part of Gallman’s game is his footwork and ability to translate what he sees into the proper moves. He doesn’t make cuts like the smaller, quicker running backs in this class do, but he’s able to make smooth, effective changes of direction when needed. There are several examples of this to be found in his tape. In this clip, he takes the pitch, then subtly makes more than one move, shifting his weight just enough to stay just out of arm’s reach. It wasn’t sharp, ankle-breaking cuts, but it was effective.
Here’s another one. Gallman gets the handoff, moves down the line, then starts making moves in order to gain yardage. He makes two sharp cuts to make defenders miss, and once again makes plus yardage when it could have been much less.
Speed isn’t Gallman’s game, though he can certainly get to the outside and make some big gains. His straight-line speed isn’t elite, but it’s adequate. He’s more of a “keep the ball moving forward” kind of back. Here’s an all-too-rare clip of him getting through traffic into the open field for a long run. Notice that he doesn’t pull away from defenders, and would have likely been ran down from behind had there been much more ground to cover.
Gallman also competes in the other, less recognized parts of a running back’s job. He is not only a willing blocker, but he does it effectively, getting his body in the right spot more often than not. He picks up blitzes well, and generally slows his man down. He’s also a good receiver, which will add value for NFL teams.
Overall, Gallman is a good prospect, but has limitations that mean his ceiling isn’t as high as other running backs in this class. He does everything well, but doesn’t really stand out as special in any one area. He should have a place as a contributor in the NFL, but might be best served as part of a committee. He’s good enough to sneak into day two, but it also wouldn’t be surprising if he fell into the middle part of day three.