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PFF scouting report: Wayne Gallman, RB, Clemson

Clemson running back Wayne Gallman (9) runs for yardage against Boston College during the first half of an NCAA college football game, Saturday, Oct. 17, 2015, in Clemson, S.C. (AP Photo/Rainier Ehrhardt)

Name: Wayne Gallman

School: Clemson

Position fit: Running back

Stats to know: Gallman’s 153 missed tackles forced as a runner over the past three season are fifth-most in the 2017 draft class.

What he does best:

  • Excellent jump cut to quickly switch gaps behind the line of scrimmage when forced away from the intended point of attack.
  • Breaks a lot of tackle attempts from safeties and cornerbacks.
  • Good change of direction with cuts in the open field to string together moves and break defenders’ leverage.
  • Burst is good enough to take advantage of imperfect pursuit angles by defensive backs, and can elongate runs even if he won’t outrun everyone often

Biggest concerns:

  • Pad level can be too high, causing him to get stood up by head-on contact from linebackers.
  • Can struggle to find and get through tight holes on interior runs.
  • Did not earn as many yards after contact as other running backs of similar size and build.
  • Allowed a noteworthy amount of pressure in pass protection each year.

Player comparison: James Starks

Gallman and Starks have very similar running styles. Jump cuts are each player’s best quality, and while they are lacking other moves, they show a very good ability to string together cuts once they get downfield. Starks was probably a bit faster in his prime yet neither possess great speed. However, they do have enough burst to pull off bigger runs. Like Starks, Gallman has enough burst and strength to shed arm tackles from defensive backs, but isn’t going to get as much yardage through more direct contact despite high effort.

Bottom line: 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 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.

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