The Dallas Cowboys have quietly turned this former third-round pick into one of the best number two wide receivers in the entire NFL.
The Dallas Cowboys‘ offseason has dominated NFL headlines. Fans are questioning each others’ loyalties depending on which category you fall into. One thing you cannot question is the ascension of this unheralded player.
Taking you back to the 2018 NFL Draft, the host was none other than your Cowboys. All of the talk was about who Dallas was going to select with their first-round pick, 19th overall.
Their first-round selection ended up being Boise State linebacker, Leighton Vander Esch. Some people scratched their heads while others rejoiced. With their second-round selection, the Cowboys took offensive lineman Connor Williams out of the University of Texas.
If you recall, that was the pick that was rumored to be involved with then Seattle Seahawks safety Earl Thomas. I applaud the front office for those draft picks. Both players have started and appear to have a role with this team moving forward. The front office struck gold with their third-round selection.
With the 81st pick in the 2018 NFL Draft, the Dallas Cowboys select Colorado State wide receiver, Michael Gallup. The crowd politely applauded and NFL draft geeks searched their notes and the internet to find out more about this new wideout.
I took a look at my old draft notes and wrote that Gallup was a good receiver that ran crisp routes, caught the ball with his hands and not his body but had below-average speed. I took a look back at his combine and was surprised to see that he ran a 4.51 forty yard dash. Not a burner but certainly not slow by any definition.
NFL.com gave him a 6.20-grade meaning they projected him to become a good backup who should become a starter. In his rookie year, Gallup started eight games and had 33 receptions for 507 yards and two touchdowns.
Very modest numbers but it has traditionally taken wide receivers a bit longer to adapt to the NFL. Last year Gallup played in 14 games but started 12 and had 66 catches for 1,107 yards and had 6 receiving touchdowns. Very good numbers for a number two wideout but I want to highlight the end of the season.
In his last eight games, Gallup had 37 catches for 653 yards and 4 touchdowns. Very good production from a second-year player who is not the focal point of the offense.
With so many mouths to feed it was surprising to see that Gallup had 13 catches, 82 yards, and 2 touchdowns less than Dallas Cowboys Pro Bowl wide receiver Amari Cooper despite the fact that Gallup played in two fewer games than Cooper.
His season-ending performance against the Washington Redskins netted the player with half his season touchdowns but it was his ability to take advantage of a team’s second corner is what fascinates me about this player.
If Amari Cooper is retained, I believe that Gallup can win most one on one battles opposite of Cooper. This is going to force opponents to now fear the pass instead of loading up the box to stop the run. This offense has the potential to give defensive coordinators nightmares.
Having Michael Gallup on a rookie deal certainly helps but I fear that when he eventually reaches his full potential, he could potentially become unaffordable. Time will tell but I believe this was the Dallas Cowboys’ best 2018 NFL Draft selection.