The New England Patriots last pick of the 2014 NFL was finally used on a playmaker for Tom Brady, as they selected Jeremy Gallon out of Michigan. Here is my grade of the pick.
In terms of production, there probably wasn’t a better receiver available in this year’s draft. In 2013, Gallon amassed 1,373 yards on 89 catches, including nine touchdowns. However he is a small guy, and I don’t know if he can make it in the NFL. In addition to this, the Patriots probably own the smallest group of receivers in the NFL, which will make Gallon’s job even harder. He has some talent, but I don’t know if it will be enough to break through, and earn a spot on the Pats final roster.
Here is what CBS Sports has to say on Gallon’s strengths:
Balanced athlete with quick, controlled feet. Runs routes with purpose and decisiveness to create some running room. Good patience in his patterns to hold defenders. Sharp footwork in/out of his breaks.
Excellent awareness and sense of surroundings before and after the catch. Works back to the ball and has a great feel for defenders to elude and create. Strong, aggressive hands to pluck and does a nice job in contested situations to attack the ball, playing much bigger than his listed size. Natural body adjustments with focus to finish off-target throws, tracking the ball well downfield. Shifty cuts to sidestep defenders and follow blocks with good wiggle in space. Pesky ballcarrier to tackle.
Tough and durable. Good experience on special teams as a kick and punt returner. Excellent production as a two-year starter, leading Michigan in receiving both years, including a record-breaking 2013 season. Broke Braylon Edwards’ single-season Michigan receiving yards record (1,373) and set a new Big Ten single-game record for receiving yards (369) vs. Indiana, which also ranks second in FBS history.
Overall, this pick was a good one. Gallon has the potential to break out and become a good player for Bill Belichick and company, but if he doesn’t, no harm, no foul. Cutting him won’t hurt the Patriots at all, so a good move from New England to close out the draft.