Throughout the offseason, we’ll be profiling players who may end up in Denver when all is said and done with the 2017 NFL Draft. The Broncos clearly have plenty of holes to fill before they get back to Super-Bowl form and we’ll be examining a long list of players they may choose to help the franchise do just that.
From Deshaun Watson to Mike Williams, Clemson isn’t lacking in offensive star power in the 2017 NFL Draft. However, there is a lesser-known name that had just as much of an impact in the national champs offense—running back Wayne Gallman. As a two-time all-conference pick in his three seasons at Clemson, Gallman rushed for over 1,500 yards in 2015 and shared the team’s Offensive MVP Award with Watson.
In a time where quick and fast running backs are the new hot thing, Gallman brings a vicious downhill running style, preferring to run over a defender as opposed to attempting to juke them. With plenty of talent to back up his collegiate career, Gallman is projected to be a third to fourth round pick in the draft.
There isn’t much not to like about Gallman’s attitude on the field as he looks to impose his will on defenders. At 6-foot-0, 215 pounds, Gallman has NFL size, strength and power to continue his physical style of play at the next level. When he finds an opening along the line, he hits the hole hard and uses his body as a weapon to move as far down the field as possible. After contact, he continues to grind his legs fighting for every last yard. In short-yardage situations, specifically goal line, Gallman is nearly automatic.
Although he would prefer to go inside the tackles, Gallman has the speed to hit the edge and take it outside. He is also a capable receiver out of the backfield, providing a difficult matchup for defensive backs when they are forced to tackle him. Finally, he has a nose for the end zone as he scored 28 touchdowns in his final two seasons at Clemson.
Gallman’s running style is ideal for a one-cut zone blocking system. When a path is not clearly defined, he has problems creating running lanes for himself. Occasionally, he will run into lanes that are no longer open—pointing to his lack of vision and decision making. While he does have the speed to get to the outside, he relies too much on his ability to run defenders over and he lacks a finesse or agility move.
In order to stay on the field for more plays at the next level, Gallman will need to improve his pass protection and improve his pad level both when he has the ball and when he is blocking.
How he fits in Denver
Gallman would have been a perfect fit in the Gary Kubiak zone rushing attack. However, now that there is a new coaching regime in Denver his fit makes less sense, especially with a similar back, C.J. Anderson, already on the roster.
It is widely believed that the Broncos could draft a running back this year, however they would most likely be looking for a quick versatile playmaker out of the backfield. Gallman’s ability to be a receiving threat would give Denver some interest, but most likely not enough to be worth a mid-round draft pick.