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May 6, 2014
Jeremy Gallon is projected as a late-round pick
In a prolific record-setting campaign, Michigan's Jeremy Gallon put up stats that compare favorably with Clemson wideout Sammy Watkins, but while Watkins is a projected top-10 pick Thursday, Gallon probably won't hear his name called until the third round or later.
"Gallon ran better than I thought he would at the NFL Combine, he made a lot of clutch catches, does a lot after the catch as a slot guy, to me he's worth a fifth round-type pick," famed ESPN Draft guru Mel Kiper Jr. said in late April.
Despite his impressive senior season - 89 receptions for a Michigan single-season record 1,373 yards and nine touchdowns - the 5-7 Gallon is expected to remain on the board after Round 3 because of his lack of height.
SBNation.com ranks him the No. 146 prospect out of 200 it rated and the No. 21 wide receiver; last year's 21st receiver came off the draft board 11 picks into the fifth round (No. 144 overall).
CBSSports.com is not as kind, ranking Gallon the No. 465 prospect overall and the No. 58 receiver, and projecting him as an undrafted free agent while ESPN.com has him the No. 45 receiver.
"Gallon looks and runs like a running back and is quicker than fast," CBS writes in its player overview. "Not the biggest or fastest, but is a crisp, clean route runner with usually-sure hands. He has savvy awareness and very good vision with the ball in his hands to create some separation and do something after the catch.
"Gallon will be limited in the NFL due to his smallish frame and mediocre speed, but he is a tough, competitive football player who will find a niche at the next level as a No. 4 or 5 WR."
Maizenbrew.com blogger Joshua Henschke makes the case that Gallon would be a steal if he goes in the fifth round or later and details a few of the teams that would be wise to grab the Apopka, Fla., native.
One of those teams could be New England, said Patriots blogger Chris Price.
"The Patriots made the pilgrimage out to Ann Arbor in March to work out the undersized (5-foot-8, 187-pound) Gallon, who put up impressive numbers over the last two years with the Wolverines, including 89 catches for 1,373 yards and nine touchdowns in 2013.
"There are some questions as to whether or not he'll hold up because of his size, but could project nicely as a slot receiver at the next level if he proves to be durable, and the fact that LeGarrette Blount has departed as a free agent means the Patriots could be in the market for a returner."
Knowitallfootball.com - a Big Ten blog - is on the bandwagon, noting that Gallon played big in the biggest games, against the most NFL talent.
"That fact of the matter is that despite is size, Gallon is still one of the most effective receivers in the country," the site wrote. "Most guys his size get tucked away in the slot and are relegated to safety net or gimmick duty. Over the last half of his career, Gallon emerged at the go-to receiver on a Michigan team with a shortage of go-to players. He did a good chunk of his damage from the traditional No. 1 or No. 2 wide receiver spots.
"Gallon's best performances of the 2013 season arguably came against teams with legit NFL talent in their secondaries. Against Notre Dame, Penn State and Ohio State, he racked up 24 catches for 454 yards and 5 scores - proving he can hang with and perform against the most physical of defenses. He's also capable of putting up gaudy, video game-like numbers if need be. That was exactly what happened in Michigan's 63-47 shootout win over Indiana where Gallon caught 14 passes for 369 yards and two touchdowns."
Finally, the Miami Herald recently spoke to Gallon, who hails from a Florida town 248 miles north of south beach, and the standout former Wolverine addressed all the same concerns he's faced his entire life.
"It gets tiring, but I can't change what people think or what they say about me," Gallon told John McMullen in discussing his size or lack thereof. "I've been dealing with it my whole life.
"It's an obstacle that I've been dealing with since I've been playing football, but I haven't considered it as an issue to me. It's something that other people look at, and I just have to deal with it and play ball with it."