Gallery Second Overall Pick at NFL Draft
April 24, 2004
With 4:35 left on the clock for the Oakland Raiders at the 2004 NFL Draft at Madison Square Garden, Robert Gallery became the highest-picked Iowa player since 1959 on Saturday.
Gallery, the 2003 Outland Trophy winner for best collegiate interior linesman, was the second overall pick in the first round of the Draft and the second-highest pick in Iowa history.
Saturday's festivities draw a line under months of speculation and waiting for Gallery and Hawkeye coaches and fans that have been curious to see where one of last season's permanent captains would continue his career.
"It's great," Gallery told NFL.com. "(Oakland) was really a place I knew I would fit in well, and I was really glad it worked out that way.
"There are a lot of guys on that team I have looked up to for a lot of years, and now being able to play with them is going to be unbelievable. So I'm looking forward to meeting them and getting started."
The 6-foot-7, 323-pound Gallery is the highest-picked Hawkeye since Randy Duncan in 1959, who was the first overall pick and accepted a $17,500 contract with the Green Bay Packers with a $4,000 signing bonus - small fractions of what Gallery is likely to receive.
With Gallery, the Hawkeyes have had 15 first-round picks and four in the last seven years.
Coach Kirk Ferentz and company match their best draft record in 2004, with five players being selected over the two-day affair. Five players were selected in last year's draft, and three were selected in 2002.
Also on Saturday, safety Bob Sanders will join former teammate Dallas Clark at Indianapolis. Sanders was the 44th selection overall. All-American kicker Nate Kaeding will join Gallery in California, however, in San Diego with the Chargers. Kaeding was the 65th pick.
Barry Pump, hawkeyesports.com