49ers roster: 5 players under most pressure to perform at OTAs
By Peter Panacy
No. 3: 49ers RB Wayne Gallman
Initially, the free-agent pickup of former New York Giants running back Wayne Gallman seemed like a great idea. After all, San Francisco had seen major injuries to three of its running backs last year, Raheem Mostert, Jeff Wilson Jr. and JaMycal Hasty, and the need to guard against attrition in this unit made the 26-year-old Gallman a nice fit.
The thinking was also he’d be a quality scheme fit, too.
Yet that was before the 49ers drafted running backs Trey Sermon and Elijah Mitchell in Rounds 3 and 6, respectively, now bringing the total of rostered tailbacks to six entering OTAs.
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Sermon and Mitchell aren’t guaranteed to pan out. But Sermon being a third-round pick, paired with Mitchell’s pegged fit as a pass-catching one-cut-and-go runner point to head coach Kyle Shanahan having some serious vested interest in both earning roster spots.
And with Mostert and Wilson likely not going anywhere, the pressure will be on Gallman to prove he’s a much better option than at least one of the two rookies, perhaps both.
Gallman is only around on a one-year deal, and there are no guarantees worked into his contract. That makes his chances of surviving cuts a bit tougher, although him showing off his skills during these early practices could go a long way towards his future.