Gallery looks part of big-time player
Iowa standout OT Robert Gallery turned heads and dropped jaws by simply walking around the combine.
INDIANAPOLIS -- There is a reason that football jargon includes the term "eyeball test," scout-ese for essentially meaning that a player looks good at first glance and basically passes muster simply walking into a room.
"If you entered all the (components) into the computer, and it spit out the model of what an NFL offensive left tackle is supposed to look like, it would be that guy right there," said Buffalo Bills offensive line coach Jim McNally, nodding in Gallery's direction. "He sure looks like a player, doesn't he?"
Looks can be deceiving, of course, in all walks of life. But the massive Gallery, 6-feet-7 and about 317 pounds, is a prospect who figures to back up appearance with performance. The early guesstimates are that he will be a top-five selection in two months and will then become a multiple-appearance Pro Bowl performer. Under the stewardship of head coach Kirk Ferentz, a former NFL line mentor, Iowa has sent some terrific blockers to the pro ranks the last few years, but Gallery is likely the pick of the litter.
OK, so maybe he needs to get his long locks shorn, something he hasn't done in about two years now. Once some NFL defensive end grabs his long hair and swings him around for the first time, Gallery won't have any choice but to visit a barber. But short of the long hair, there isn't much about Gallery that scouts don't admire.
He has the long arms and quick feet demanded by the blindside blocker's position. He is bright, articulate, and a film-room junkie. And if character counts in the NFL these days, not many prospects at this week's combine workouts here are as squeaky clean.
Observations from a collection of NFL scouts at the combine:
-- Len Pasquarelli
Noted one NFC general manager: "He might be one of those rare guys who seems too good to be true and who really is exactly what he appears to be."
Around the combine
The last word
"I don't care if people call me dirty. As long as they don't call me soft, that's all." -- Virginia Tech center Jake Grove, on his reputation for illegal blocks.
Len Pasquarelli is a senior writer for ESPN.com.