By Charlie Campbell
Summary: While Deshaun Watson got all the attention in acclaim during Clemson’s big 2015 season, Gallman was a workhorse for the Tigers. In 2015, he was one of the best backs in college football, averaging 5.4 yards per carry for 1,527 yards with 13 touchdowns. He also caught 21 passes for 213 yards with a score.
Clemson’s rushing offense sputtered somewhat in 2016 as Gallman was banged up throughout the season. He had a concussion that caused him to miss some time, and looked worn down compared to the 2015 season. On the year, Gallman averaged 5.1 yards per carry for 1,087 yards with 16 touchdowns. He tacked on 17 receptions for 113 yards as well.
As a runner, Gallman was at his best as a sophomore. He showed some impressive feet with the ability to be elusive in the open field. He has tremendous lateral quickness to dodge tacklers and a burst to accelerate running North-South. Many taller backs can’t jump cut and move so fluidly in the second level, but Gallman has that ability. That lets him make a lot of tacklers miss and keeps moving the ball downfield.
In 2015, Gallman showed some power to him to pound the ball for some tough yards and finish off runs. Consistently, there are plays where Gallman looks like he’s going to be stopped, but he’s able to fight for more yards. Gallman is a tough goal-line back and could be even more powerful after he spends some time in a NFL strength and conditioning program.
In the passing game, Gallman is a nice option as a check-down target given how skilled he is at ripping off yards in the open field. Like all college backs, Gallman will need to be tutored on blitz protection before he can truly be a three-down starter as a pro.
With his upright running style, Gallman could be susceptible to injuries and hard hits in the NFL. He looks like he would be best as a rotational NFL back and may not be able to hold up as a three-down starter. In the 2017 NFL Draft, Gallman will probably be a mid-round pick.
Player Comparison: Rashad Jennings. Gallman reminds me of Jennings. In the NFL, Jennings is a quality backup running back whp is a jack-of-all-trades, master-of-none type. Gallman could end up being a similar contributor for his NFL team.
NFL Matches: Indianapolis, Baltimore, Philadelphia, Tampa Bay, Green Bay, New York Giants, Detroit, New York Jets, Carolina and Minnesota
There are a lot of teams that could target Gallman in the 2017 NFL Draft. On the second day, there are a lot of teams that may consider taking a running back. The Jets signed Matt Forte, but the skilled veteran is aging. Gallman could help whoever is the Jets next starting quarterback after Josh McCown in Christian Hackenberg or Bryce Petty.
If Carolina doesn’t take a running back in the first round, the team could consider Gallman to help give Cam Newton more support with a running game. Jonathan Stewart recently turned 30 and has had durability issues throughout his career.
The Colts, Eagles and Ravens all need long-term starting running backs. Of those three, the Colts could wait the longest given their defensive needs, but Gallman would make sense for Indianapolis in the mid-rounds. Philadelphia with Doug Pederson’s offense would be a good fit for Gallman. Baltimore has tried a few different runners, but needs a lead back to carry its ground game. Tampa Bay could consider taking Gallman given Doug Martin’s situation and his uncertain future with the team.
In the NFC North, the Packers lost Eddie Lacy this offseason, so they will need a starting running back. The Lions fielded the 30th-ranked rushing offense in 2016, and Ameer Abdullah hasn’t panned out for them thus far. The Vikings need a replacement for Adrian Peterson, and Gallman would be a more talented option than Latavius Murray.
The Giants had the 29th-ranked rushing offense last season and badly need some talent in the backfield. Gallman would bring some versatility to their run game.
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