The Arizona Cardinals released Drico Johnson and Cyril Noland-Lewis, which means the team has six safeties remaining on the roster.
Tyrann Mathieu, Budda Baker, and Antoine Bethea are the only safeties that are guaranteed to make the 53-man roster. Since the team often use three-safety packages, the team could keep up to five safeties. This means that the team could have up to two openings at the safety position. Deshawntee “Ironhead” Gallon is hoping to secure one of these spots.
The former Georgia Southern linebacker is known for his strong run defensive game, tackling skills and hard hits, hence the name “Ironhead”. He played both linebacker and some safety in college, which further emphasizes the importance of versatility in Keim-Arians plans. Though he excelled at run defense, his pass defensive game is still a work in progress but, nonetheless, was okay in 2016.
Gallon’s current cons are his inexperience and pass defense but there is no clarity as to if he will excel at anything in the NFL just yet. He will have to compete with Tyvon Branch, Jonathan “Rudy” Ford, and Harlan Miller for a roster spot. I would not rule out more free agent additions this offseason, with the availability of veterans such as Rashad Johnson and Jairus Byrd.
Gallon finished the 2016 season with 102 tackles, 6 tackles for loss, and 6 pass defensed. He was one of the best players in the Sun Belt Conference after being named to the 2016 All-Sun Belt First Team.
Will he be the next Tony Jefferson? Will he be as versatile as Deone Bucannon? Or is he just a special teams player?
The Hall of Fame game, Dallas Cowboys versus Arizona Cardinals, will take place on Thursday, August 3. The elimination of the 75-man cutdown gives Gallon and many other players more time to impress their respective NFL teams. Assuming he will still be on the roster, he will have the chance to prove to the Cardinals and the other 31 NFL clubs that he has what it takes to be a safety in the National Football League.