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NFL New England Patriots

New England Patriots 2014 Training Camp Profile: Jeremy Gallon

Jeremy Gallon

Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

The New England Patriots selected Michigan wide receiver Jeremy Gallon with the 29th pick in the seventh-round (244th overall) of the 2014 NFL Draft.

Was he near a TV when Patriots head coach Bill Belichick called him? Nope. His brothers had the TV on, but Jeremy was outside with his nieces when he got the call. Gallon said he just grabbed his nieces and ran inside and everyone started screaming.

The Patriots signed Gallon to a deal in May, but the terms of the deal were not disclosed. The fact that Gallon has signed a deal with the Patriots does not mean he will necessarily be lining up to catch passes from another Michigan Wolverine — Patriots QB Tom Brady. Gallon still has to make the Patriots’ 53-man roster. According to various salary projections, Gallon’s signing bonus (the only part of a rookie contract that is guaranteed) will be $47,592. If Gallon makes the Patriots’ squad his contract would be for four years and $2.2 million.

Gallon participated in Michigan’s pro day where he looked really good catching the ball. The results from that day are as follows:

  • Vertical: 39.5 inches
  • Broad Jump: 10-foot-10
  • Short Shuttle: 4.26 seconds
  • Three-Cone Drill (7.07 seconds)

Gallon was Michigan’s leading receiver in 2012 and 2013, and in 2013 he set the school single-season record for receiving yards (1,373). He also had nine touchdowns in 2013.

Gallon has good eye-hand coordination, runs hard, is explosive and has good balance and vision after the catch. He is also an intelligent route runner who finds ways to get open, especially in zone defenses. Gallon is very passionate about football, which is good because so his quarterback. He is short (5-foot-8) and lacks top-end speed which makes it difficult for him to create separation vertically (which the Patriots sorely need) or break away from a crowd — he is often caught from behind. Although Gallon has good eye-hand coordination, he often catches the ball with his body instead of just his hands. His size also makes it difficult for him to block.

Even if Gallon can produce at the NFL level (and he probably can), the Patriots are not the right team for him. Sure, there are certain quarterbacks that every receiver wants to play with: Brady, Aaron Rodgers, Peyton Manning and Drew Brees are four such quarterbacks. Gallon must appreciate that if he makes the squad, Brady will be slinging him the ball. That being said, the Patriots need a big receiver who can play vertically, not another slot receiver. The Patriots re-signed Julian Edelman this offseason, and although he has taken some snaps on the outside, he is really a slot receiver. Danny Amendola, who the Patriots signed in part because Wes Welker left for the Denver Broncos in free agency, is still on the Patriots, and he also plays in the slot. The Patriots signed free agent wide receiver Brandon LaFell this offseason as well. LaFell is bigger than Edelman and Amendola at 6-foot-2, 210-pounds, but he spends almost two-thirds of his time in the slot. Yes, LaFell can certainly play outside (although he is not the answer to the Patriots’ vertical need), but the point is there are enough slot receivers.

It is possible that Gallon ends up making the Patriots’ 53-man roster. Hopefully he does and he contributes to the Patriots in the coming seasons. This is not necessarily an indictment on Gallon; it’s just hard to understand the Patriots drafting another slot receiver, but not drafting a tight end, where they badly need depth.

Justin Patrick is a New England Patriots writer for RantSports.com. Follow him on Twitter @calling_allfans, like him on Facebook and add him to your network on Google.