At the NFL combine Friday, Jeremy Gallon measured just 5-foot-7 1/4 and 185 pounds (John T. Greilick / Detroit News)
Indianapolis — Former Michigan wide receiver Jeremy Gallon was eighth in the FBS in receiving yards in 2013, but the stellar season doesn’t guarantee he’ll be drafted in May.
At the NFL combine Friday, Gallon measured just 5-foot-7¼ and 185 pounds, and he’ll have to prove he can play bigger than his frame to make it at the next level.
“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,” Gallon said at Lucas Oil Stadium. “It’s something that other people look at, and I just have to deal with it and play ball with it.”
Gallon was one of the highlights for the Wolverines last season, catching 89 passes for a school-record 1,373 yards as well as nine touchdowns.
In some ways, Gallon said he can use his size to his advantage because he’s quicker than other receivers, and defenses might not pay him as much attention. He aspires to play like Steve Smith of the Carolina Panthers, a 5-foot-9 receiver with strong hands who has played 13 seasons in the NFL.
Gallon, though, would likely play more as a slot receiver at the next level, so he’d have to adjust after playing primarily outside at Michigan.
While preparing for the draft, Gallon said he reached out to former Michigan players Junior Hemingway, Denard Robinson and Roy Roundtree, who have gone through the draft process the past two years. Hemingway, who plays receiver for the Kansas City Chiefs, passed along advice to ignore any outside criticism, Gallon said.
“Control what I can control,” Gallon said. “Only worry about the things I need to worry about, keeping my head straight and going out and play ball.”
Michigan finished a disappointing 7-6 last year, and offensive coordinator Al Borges was fired after the season, which surprised Gallon.
“It was a decision that the coaches made or whoever made the decision to get rid of him,” he said. “Coach Borges was my guy. He gave me an opportunity to play at the university, and he was somebody that I could always go to and talk to.
“The coach that they have now (Doug Nussmeier) is a great coordinator, and as far as the team last year, it wasn’t on the coaches; it was on the players. We just didn’t finish strong as a team on all sides of the ball.”
But Gallon is moving on, and he hopes to silence doubters who don’t think he can make it in the NFL.
“Every day I deal with adversity, people downsizing me and not thinking I can do what I do because of my size,” he said. “I deal with it in a professional fashion.”