The Cowboys wide receiver position has been the subject of much conversation this offseason. After the release of Dez Bryant, the Cowboys decided to add some new personnel. They picked up two receivers in free agency, two receivers in the draft, and a couple of college free agents. Though he wasn’t atop the list of the receivers we covered pre-draft here on BTB, Michael Gallup quickly became one of the most exciting picks they made. The following comes from a piece back in May and why Gallup could make an early impact:
Where Gallup really learned to set himself apart was with his technique. When you’re not the biggest (6’1, 205 lbs) or fastest guy on the field, you have to make up for it with polished technique, which is exactly what Gallup brings to the table. In this class, a lot of praise was given to Calvin Ridley, D.J. Moore, and Anthony Miller for their route-running ability. The same could be said for Gallup, who is an incredibly savvy route salesman. He received very high praise from PFF on his understanding of the route tree.
It’s imperative that receivers learn the nuances of playing the position in the NFL and especially in today’s game. Very few receivers can coast on their athletic profile alone. They have to make adjustments because once a defense knows those tendencies, they’ll just clog up the passing lanes. If a receiver can’t run the route tree or create separation, that athletic ability is not going to save them every time. That’s where a receiver like Gallup makes all the difference with his attention to refining the little aspects of his game.
My respected colleague Connor Livesay compared Gallup’s abilities to what Stefon Diggs has done in Minnesota. Since training camp has officially begun, this article will be the fifth one with Gallup in the title because he’s just been impressive early on. Sure, he’s dropped a few passes and was even yelled at by Jason Garrett for doing so but that’s all part of growing in the NFL as RJ Ochoa pointed out:
“This isn’t a slight towards Gallup, but the reality is that he is indeed a rookie. He’s never played an NFL snap before. He has tons and tons of potential, but he has no experience. These are facts.
A week into training camp, it seems like the hype is very justified. We’ve seen Gallup making a handful of plays, but unfortunately we’ve seen him have some off moments as well. Again, he’s a rookie.
One of the most important things that an athlete can have is mental discipline. No matter who you are, no matter what sport you play, no matter who the competition is... you’re going to have days where you’re not as good. The probabilities of life dictate this.
Michael Gallup understands this... as a rookie. That’s a very powerful thing.
Michael Gallup spoke after practice about how Sunday wasn’t a good or bad day, but a teaching one. pic.twitter.com/l09IiGY3uG— RJ Ochoa (@rjochoa) July 30, 2018
Gallup has made himself a topic of discussion in training camp because it’s clear that he understands Sanjay Lal’s teachings of being a technician. When it comes to route running, he and Cole Beasley have been outstanding thus far. There’s a smoothness to Gallup’s game that makes him a very deceiving receiver to cover. Here he is carrying a quality cover man in Byron Jones to the sideline before cutting inside at the top and creating separation:
Dak to Michael Gallup, who beats Byron Jones. pic.twitter.com/TSnRWaop6f— Kate Hairopoulos (@khairopoulos) July 29, 2018
Jones is one of the stickiest defensive backs on the roster due to his incredible athleticism and knowledge of how to play man without getting too grabby. Gallup beat Jones, who’s played 48 games in the NFL, as if Gallup were a crafty veteran. Here’s a shot of Gallup running drills with Cooper Rush, he high points the ball, comes down and glides downfield without a stutter.
Gallup is on a roster of receivers that has added more speedy players than him. There are guys that are much bigger than him too. With that said, he’s as good as anyone when it comes to fluidity and explosiveness:
Hard to match speed of Tavon Austin or Deonte Thompson, but Michael Gallup looks about as fluid and explosive in his routes as any WR out here. Beasley has no wasted motion at all with his movements. #cowboyswire— Rob Phillips (@robphillips3) July 27, 2018
In this next clip, against the third-team defense, Gallup just flat-out embarrasses them by knifing through the coverage and sitting on the defense.
Gallup can also make the tough catches like this next one, with three defenders in the vicinity. He not only snags it but he also holds it through the contact which is another important part of his job.
Rookie WR Michael Gallup with the catch in traffic: pic.twitter.com/XzZ1Tw6pKP— Brandon George (@DMN_George) August 1, 2018
Michael Gallup is going to make rookie mistakes this season but there are so many things to like about his chances to emerge in his first year. He’s got a great understanding for how to beat multiple types of coverage. He also has that smoothness that you just don’t see in a lot of first-year receivers. Gallup will likely see a lot of one-on-one coverage when he’s in the game too which will give him great opportunities to succeed. In an offense looking for quality players to help their quarterback and passing game become more efficient, Gallup’s got as good a chance as any to become their next playmaking receiver.
Especially when he has days like Wednesday’s practice:
Mike Gallup’s catching everything in sight today #cowboyswire— Rob Phillips (@robphillips3) August 2, 2018