By now, we can all agree the Las Vegas Raiders defense needs help across the board. The Silver and Black should start by addressing the run defense at next year’s draft, and safety Keith Gallmon is a prospect worth taking into consideration.
The Silver and Black still need to play two games this season. However, the offseason looks closer than ever. This holds true with the playoffs essentially now out of reach, so the Raiders need to focus on next year. The most glaring issue is the defense, the unit will more than likely have a new leader and it’ll need reinforcements. Despite some solid players already on the roster, the team needs more to get to another level. South Alabama’s Keith Gallmon could be the hard-hitting safety that can help bolster Las Vegas’ defense.
In his collegiate career, Gallmon amassed 103 solo tackles, three of them for a loss, and two forced fumbles. As far as pass coverage, Gallmon notched two interceptions and had 14 passes defensed these last two seasons. The Raiders would be getting a ballhawk in the backfield as well as a player that isn’t afraid to lay the big hit.
Raiders need a safety that won’t be a liability…
Head coach Jon Gruden’s team needs a safety that can deliver big hits without being a liability. With Gallmon, the Raiders would have someone that could thrive in coverage and line up all over the field. Pro Football Focus broke down his snaps, Gallmon played 261 snaps in the box, 108 at slot, and 391 at free safety. Gallmon’s grades 84.7 in coverage while his run defense, his strongest attribute, graded out at 88.4 for the year.
“He’s a great player for us — the quarterback of the defense.”
Greg Stewart, South Alabama’s defensive coordinator, called Gallmon the quarterback of his defense, meaning he’s a leader. Keep in mind Gallmon dropped 10 pounds leaving his weight at 195 pounds. The weight loss is being attributed to his speed, which allowed him to improve statistically this past season.
Having played in the Sun Belt Conference, some will dismiss Gallmon due to the talent level in the conference. Make no mistake though, Gallmon flys all over the field and is able to help in run defense while still being reliable in pass coverage. It sounds like someone the Raiders could use.
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*Top Photo: Associated Press/Nathi Harnik solo