Many Michigan fans dreamed of seeing graduating receiver Jeremy Gallon in New England with former U-M quarterback Tom Brady. They got their wish Saturday - at least the potential for it - when Gallon went to the Patriots with the team's seventh-round pick.
The 5-8, 183-pound Gallon went No. 244 overall.
Gallon ran a 4.49, 40-yard dash at the NFL combine in February after finishing his Michigan career No. Three all-time in receptions (173) and yards (2,704). His 89 catches in 2013 were the second-most ever by a Michigan wideout, and his 1,373 yards were more than any Michigan receiver had ever recorded.
He's always played bigger than he is, and though the Pats have a number of slot receivers with Julien Edelman, Danny Amendola and Josh Boyce, analysts believe he'll have a legitimate shot to make the team.
"Gallon doesn't have the size, doesn't have the tremendous speed," ESPN analyst Mel Kiper said in a pre-draft conference call. "All he does is find a way to get open and make big catch after big catch and not drop any balls.
"With his hands, his toughness, he's a gamer. You have spots for these guys in the NFL. You see all these guys who are doing a great job in that slot situation, they're all guys who went late or undrafted."
Gallon tweeted that the Patriots offered a "great opportunity to grow and learn, and later he was surprised to get selected with the 29th pick of the seventh round.
"I was speechless. It was a blessing just to get that phone call, finally," he said. "I've been waiting a long, long time … I was just sitting around with my family and just waiting around and finally got that phone call.
"They're known for having smaller guys. They're a team-oriented football team. They seem to just keep producing smaller guys that work in smaller spaces against big people. I just felt like it would be a good fit there as far myself and how I play and what I can bring, what they have for me to bring to the table."
Gallon worked out for the Patriots in Ann Arbor. Patriots coach Bill Belichick called Gallon a "small guy but compact and explosive.
"I wouldn't say this is a specialty player you need special plays for," Belichick said. "He can go out there and play receiver."
Gallon stayed away from the TV and just concentrated on family until he was finally selected.
"My name got called and it was a blessing, but if it didn't, I was going to continue on and to live out my dream and continue to push forward to greatness," he said. "The fact that it happened for me, it's a blessing. I'm just glad my name got called."
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