The New York Giants have a need at wide receiver -- or at least for depth at wide receiver.
They added Cody Latimer in free agency, but he has typically been a special teams contributor more than he has been a factor on offense. Meanwhile, they have lost Dwayne Harris and Brandon Marshall may yet be a cap casualty.
Sterling Shepard showed himself to be a capable outside receiver between injuries in 2017, but the Giants might want to add more of a possession receiver for three (or four) receiver sets. This draft class offers a number of interesting options in the middle rounds for that role. And because of that, some talented player are flying under the radar, such as Michael Gallup of Colorado State.
- Savvy and efficient route runner.
- Quick in and out of his breaks.
- Able to gain separation with his route running.
- Has enough speed and quickness to threaten deep.
- Very dangerous with the ball in his hands.
- Adept at finding voids in zone coverage.
- Held back by inconsistent and inaccurate quarterbacking.
- Doesn’t have great play strength. Could struggle with press coverage in the NFL.
- Doesn’t have the raw speed to be a true deep threat.
What they’re saying
“Natural athlete with good size who finds ways to get open through burst and athletic ability. Gallup has posted outstanding production during his two years in the Mountain West at Colorado State, but his level of play took a dip in his matchup against Alabama early in the season. Gallup is still a little raw, but is quickly fine-tuning his game and may have the ability to become a good WR2 in the league.”
Does he fit the Giants?
Gallup probably isn’t going to be a number one receiver in the NFL, and that’s okay.
He doesn’t have the size or athletic ability that teams typically look for in a prototypical “X” receiver, but that doesn’t mean that he won’t be able to come in and be a contributor early in his career. Gallup has solid size and athleticism, as well as route running that is quickly becoming a real strength in his game -- which will only accelerate his learning curve.
He might need some help from the offensive scheme to get the ball in his hands in space, without having to worry about aggressive press coverage.
Gallup’s ability with the ball in his hands, to make tacklers miss and pick up chunk yardage after the catch, would fit in well with the offense Pat Shurmur ran in Minnesota. He will likely be drafted somewhere on the second day, though it’s possible he could slip into the fourth round.
Gallup has the upside to be a regular contributor (even starter) as a possession receiver in the Flanker or Z-receiver role.