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Extra Points: Pint-sized Gallon hopes for a chance

<p>Former Michigan wide receiver Jeremy Gallon's name is a little ironic.</p>

(SportsNetwork.com) - Former Michigan wide receiver Jeremy Gallon's name is a little ironic.

And little is the operative word there. In a league searching for gallon-sized receivers, the ex-Wolverines playmaker is hurt by the fact he's a pint-sized one at just over 5-foot-7, 185 pounds.

"It gets tiring, but I can't change what people think or what they say about me," Gallon said when 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."

Gallon certainly played ball with it in Ann Arbor, finishing a spectacular college career by snaring 89 receptions for a school-record 1,373 yards and nine touchdowns in 2013, an effort good enough to earn the Florida native team MVP honors as well as second-team All-Big Ten recognition.

He also racked up a gaudy 369 receiving yards against Indiana to set a Big Ten Conference single-game record.

"(I proved a lot), as far as using my hands and creating separation with my speed," Gallon said when discussing his superlative 2013 campaign.

In most scouts' eyes, though, Gallon didn't prove enough, and he will enter May with a late-round or priority-free-agent grade.

More than a few of his detractors believe he lacks the pure home run speed and freaky athleticism to make up for his diminutive size, while he doesn't have the requisite footwork or experience in the slot to be a difference maker there, his likely home in the NFL.

The glass-is-half-full crowd counters by saying Gallon is a tough player and reliable route runner who runs hard after the catch and has more than enough wiggle to make the first defender miss.

"(I'm) a short guy, moving fast, playing against somebody bigger," Gallon said of his potential impact at the NFL level.

Gallon did refute one major criticism in Indianapolis at the scouting combine back in February by putting together a better-than-advertised 4.49-second 40- yard time, good for 20th among the 57 receivers assembled.

He then complemented that at Michigan's pro day in March by showing off a 39.5-inch vertical leap and a nearly 11-foot broad jump, indicators of potential explosiveness.

Another major issue for Gallon, though, is timing. The depth among this year's receiving corps is especially strong and nearly all of the draft-worthy prospects have far more desirable measurables.

"Big people beat up little people," Eagles coach Chip Kelly is fond of saying.

Kelly's credo is the reason there really hasn't been a lot of buzz around Gallon, but the playmaker already has worked out with perhaps the smartest organization in all of the NFL -- the New England Patriots -- and a few other clubs like Tampa Bay and Kansas City have been rumored to be showing interest.

The Pats and Chiefs are both desirable options on paper. New England's history with slot receivers is unmatched while Kansas City lost the similar-sized Dexter McCluster in free agency and could be in the market for a replacement, although Gallon is nowhere near as scheme-versatile as a player like McCluster.

"I'm really hoping anybody that is interested will give me a shot," Gallon said. "It only takes one team."

And what will that one team be getting?

"Steve Smith," Gallon said. "(A) strong guy, strong hands, nice routes, tough, don't back down from anything. I try to (pattern) my game after his."

The Sports Network's top wide receivers in the 2014 NFL Draft:

1. - Sammy Watkins, Clemson

2. - Mike Evans, Texas A&M

3. - Marqise Lee, Southern Cal

4. - Brandin Cooks, Oregon State

5. - Odell Beckham, LSU

6. - Kelvin Benjamin, Florida State

7. - Davante Adams, Fresno State

8. - Allen Robinson, Penn State

9. - Jarvis Landry, LSU

10. - Jordan Matthews, Vanderbilt

The Sports Network's Stock Watch:

Sleepers - T.J. Jones, Notre Dame; Gallon

Small School Standout - Jeff Janis, Saginaw Valley; Matt Hazel, Coastal Carolina

Risk/Reward - Cooks; Benjamin; Donte Moncrief, Ole Miss

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