Every year during the NFL draft process, Cowboys writers and fans gravitate towards a few favorites at each position. Last year, for me, that was Youngstown State EDGE Derek Rivers. Unfortunately the Cowboys passed on Rivers multiple times before the New England Patriots selected him.
This year I had two personal favorites: Rutgers EDGE Kemoko Turay and Colorado State WR Michael Gallup. Well, in the third round of the 2018 NFL Draft, the Dallas Cowboys selected Gallup. And with that pick they added a heck of a weapon to their re-vamped wide receiver corps.
Though he could be considered a small-school prospect, Michael Gallup “walked on water” every week at the collegiate level. The 21 year old Gallup caught 100 balls last season for Colorado State, finishing with 1,413 receiving yards and 7 touchdowns. At 6'1″ and about 200 pounds, Michael Gallup is the perfect productive Z receiver that any NFL offense would want.
Gallup is just about everything the Cowboys both want and need at the wide receiver position right now. He is a physical, yet technical route runner who creates separation better than just about any WR currently on the team's roster. He has strong hands, is very talented and consistent at the catch point, exhibits a large catch radius, and is flat-out tough.
Michael Gallup is extremely dangerous after the catch, something on display against Idaho in the clip above. The Cowboys are going to look to pound defenses with their physical running game, take occasional shots, and win with the short passing game. Gallup has the ability to take those shallow crossers and slants the distance on any given play.
On this play, Gallup adjusts his slant route to find the soft spot in the zone. Once he gets behind the backers and underneath the safeties, Gallup turns his head and looks for the ball. He smoothly brings the ball into his hands, and then does the rest with his legs.
As mentioned earlier, Gallup has very strong hands and shows off the ability to catch the ball wherever it's thrown. He is also physical when need be, and is strong enough to push of and separate from defenders.
Here we see Gallup make a nice contested catch in traffic, something which has become all-too-rare in Dallas as of late.
Not only is Michael Gallup a reliable route runner with quick feet and smooth hips, but he can also read coverages and win with his instincts as well.
Against Idaho here Gallup shows off his high football IQ, and it results in a touchdown for Colorado State.
Michael Gallup is the outside receiver on the bottom of the screen. It looks like the tight end in the slot is running a deep out, getting to the goal line and then breaking his route outside. Gallup appears to be running a drag route, where he would work underneath the coverage and put the defense in a bind.
As Gallup works into his drag, he reads the defense and recognizes they are in zone coverage. The defender on the near side steps down to cover Gallup's drag route. Once he recognizes the coverage, and realizes there is no safety in the deep middle of the field, Gallup breaks his drag route upfield and behind the underneath linebackers.
Because of his understanding of the coverage and the offensive concept, Gallup finds a way to score an easy touchdown.
After the release of Dez Bryant the Dallas Cowboys needed to add talent to their receiver room in the worst way. Through the selection of Michael Gallup in the 3rd round, they found a player who might be their best wide out come seasons end. Gallup was a top 50 player on my board, so selecting him at 81 was a home run in my book.