Following a 14-catch, 369-yard performance against Indiana last weekend, Michigan wide receiver Jeremy Gallon is demanding attention from scouts and analysts everywhere. While some may be skeptical of his NFL future, Gallon has the look of a mid-round steal as the 2014 NFL Draft looms.
One of Michigan’s top receiving threats this season, the senior pass-catcher has quietly burst onto the scene as a prospect worth taking seriously.
With a short frame (5’8’’, 185) but plenty of strength, Gallon has been a reliable target for Devin Gardner throughout the 2013 campaign. Possessing reliable hands and tremendous field awareness, the Florida native consistently finds openings in coverage that allow him to pick up huge chunks of yardage. His ability to adjust to the ball in air has also been a huge factor in his impressive production.
Through the first seven games of his senior season, Gallon has amassed 831 yards and seven touchdowns on 45 receptions (18.5 yards per catch).
One of the biggest concerns with Gallon is his lack of elite speed. Numerous times when he breaks into the open field, he gets caught from behind. Especially when he gets to the next level, that issue could limit his long-term potential. His size will also be a problem, but luckily for him, the recent trends in the NFL could accommodate his punitive stature.
Gallon also has experience as a punt returner, which could provide more intrigue for NFL teams contemplating placing him on their draft board.
If you’re looking for a comparison, one NFL wide receiver that comes to mind when watching Gallon play is Golden Tate. Currently playing for the Seattle Seahawks, Tate is a smaller wide receiver who uses his strength and route running to create separation. Considering that Tate was a second-round pick back in 2010, the ceiling appears to be high for Gallon if he can continue to impress though the end of 2013.
Entering the season, Gallon had the look of a late-round flier who might go undrafted. After a phenomenal first half of his senior season, though, Michigan’s rising star could soon elevate himself to mid-round status.
The NFL is trending towards smaller receivers becoming sparkplugs out of the slot. If Gallon can maintain his reliability and hone his skills as a route runner, he might be the next beneficiary of the Wes Welker movement.