The New York Giants have already named Paul Perkins as the team’s starting running back for 2017. Does fourth-round pick Wayne Gallman have the right skill set to be a complementary back for the shifty Perkins?
Giants GM Jerry Reese was asked that question Saturday after selecting Perkins. Here is how he answered it:
“That’s up to the coaches. We just try and pick a good football player right there. We think he’s that,” Reese said. “He’s a three-year producer there. Young kid, tough, kind of linear for a running back. Tall for a running back. I think he’s a little bit over six foot, maybe just six foot. He looks taller when you think about running backs.”
What the scouts are saying
Pro Football Focus Draft Guide:
Gallman was Clemson’s lead back for the better part of the last three years. He has a lot of experience in a spread offense, and running zone-read option. The spread fits his skillset well and he may not be as effective as a runner in tighter spaces with more defenders in the box. His jump cut and ability to plant and get vertical are his greatest assets as a runner. His moves are limited beyond that, but he does those exceptionally well. At times, he made a mockery of defensive backs, shedding their arm tackles often and with ease. Gallman doesn’t consistently gain as much after contact against linebackers, and [there] were times where he would get stonewalled on first contact due to high pad level. He won’t “wow” anyone with this speed or burst, but it’s sufficient to be an effective runner in the NFL. As for the passing game, he can be effective on screens and check-downs, but not a special enough receiver to utilize him heavily on designed pass plays. Pass protection is a concern, and blocking for a less-mobile quarterback than Deshaun Watson could translate in more hurries becoming hits or sacks.
Optimum Scouting Draft Guide (Eric Galko):
Wayne Gallman is a work horse. Through his three seasons of play, Gallman carried the ball 675 times, eclipsing 200 carries in his final two seasons. Gallman was a steady contributor as a freshman in 2014 before taking over the starting job in 2015. In 2015, Gallman's redshirt sophomore season, he was the focal point of the offense and his consistent play allowed the rest of the Clemson offense to operate on schedule. Gallman is an interesting runner. He does not have any overwhelming physical or athletic traits. Rather, Gallman wins with nifty footwork and balance. He is able to carefuly sift through tight running lanes and keep his feet active in a productive way. When Gallman gets hit, he is often able to find his balance following the contact and keep himself moving. At the very least, Gallman does a good job of falling forward. Despite his footwork and balance, Gallman is not a particularly elusive runner. He has enough wiggle and lateral burst to miss some tackles, but he's not going to be one who can break ankles and create on his own. Gallman is not a true power runner, either. His leg drive and power is plenty sufficient, but he's not going to be a battering ram. Likewise, Gallman is an average third down presence. He understands blocking assignments, but does not have the strength or attitude to block particularly well. As a pass catcher, Gallman does little to help himself get open, but he shouldn't have drop issues moving froward. Gallman is an all-around solid back who can be productive and play all three downs, but has no special trait to point to. Gallman can be a nice second option.
Ian Wharton 2017 Draft guide:
A solid running back and contributor for Clemson over the last three years, Wayne Gallman maximized his skill set in an important role. As the backfield mate for Deshaun Watson, Gallman had much of his production handed to him. That’s why his career high yards per carry of 5.4 is underwhelming. He was even less effective in 2016, averaging 5.1 yards. Those are below-average considering his surroundings. Gallman doesn’t create well for himself on any level, though he does have strengths. A good gap-blocking line will allow him to use his straight-line speed to full effectiveness. He should settle in as a good backup with receiving skills.
Dane Brugler (CBS Sports) 2017 NFL Draft Guide:
A three-year starter at Clemson, Gallman performed in the shadow of Deshaun Watson, but his contributions to the Tigers’ offense were substantial, leading the team in rushing each of the last three seasons. He lacks a prototypical body type for the position, but is naturally strong and runs with a contract driven mentality, never shying from contact. While his toughness and determination aren’t an issue, Gallman isn’t a true power back due to his upright run style and his best runs are a result of his lateral quickness avoiding contact. As a next level prospect, he is a “jack-of-all-trades, master of none” type because there are holes in his game, but he has the talent to contribute as a runner (inside and outside), receiver and blocker in the NFL.