Ottawa’s Neville Gallimore drafted by Dallas Cowboys

Canada’s Neville Gallimore is joining ‘America’s Team’. The Ottawa-native was selected by the Dallas Cowboys in the third round of the 2020 NFL Draft Friday night.

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the NFL Draft was shifted to a virtual format. Each prospect filmed themselves in their own homes rather than attend a joint event. Even though he was unable to walk the draft stage and shake hands with NFL commissioner Roger Goodell, Gallimore was captured on camera emotionally celebrating with his family as he put on his Cowboys hat.

Following his early playing days in Ottawa, Gallimore suited up for Canada Prep Academy in St. Catharines in order to garner the eyes of NCAA programs. The strategy worked, resulting in an offer from the University of Oklahoma, one of the top football programs in America. Gallimore spent four years with the Oklahoma Sooners and helped them win the Big 12 conference each season he was there.

Gallimore is fittingly nicknamed ‘the Canadian Bulldozer’. The 6’2”, 300-pound defender plays on the inside of the defensive line, where he is tasked with creating interior pressure on opposing offences in the run and pass game.

The defensive lineman boasts incredible speed for his size and explodes off the line of scrimmage. Gallimore showed off his athleticism at this year’s NFL Draft both in terms of his strength and his speed. Gallimore ran the 40-yard dash at this year’s NFL Combine in a blazing 4.79 seconds, an eye-popping number for an interior defensive lineman.

Fellow Canadian Chase Claypool was also selected Friday night. The Abbotsford, British Columbia was taken in the second round by the Pittsburgh Steelers. Claypool played wide receiver at the University of Notre Dame but is expected to shift to tight end in the NFL. Offensive lineman Danny Watkins remains the highest-drafted Canadian ever at 23rd overall in 2011, though he flamed out of the league after three seasons with the Eagles and Dolphins.

Though it is unclear what the upcoming NFL season will look like, Gallimore joins a talented Dallas team that is expected to be Super Bowl contenders next season. The list of Canadians in the NFL continues to grow and one of Ottawa’s own figures to be a contributor early on for the Cowboys.

Photo: Associated Press