2018 NFL Draft Preview: Antonio Callaway

Florida
Wide Receiver
5-11, 197, Junior

Antonio Callaway is a big play getting ready to happen thanks to his elite level athleticism. 

  • Long speed consistently threats secondary
  • Enough quickness and vision to create plays after the catch
  • Average route runner but shows the traits it takes to improve
  • Reliable target
  • Off-field baggage

In his first season with the Gators, Callaway set a Florida freshman receiving record with three 100-yard games. He also led the team in receiving yards with 678. Callaway was once again the go-to wideout in 2016 as he grabbed 54 passes for 721 yards while reeling in three touchdowns (led team in all categories). A popular selection for preseason first team All-SEC, Callaway may have a hard time getting back on the field because of his off-the-field mishaps.

Callaway’s game speaks for itself but his overall maturity is the biggest question mark heading into what could be his final collegiate season. Callaway was linked to a sexual assault case in August of 2015, later cleared, and was recently charged with two counts of possession of marijuana in May of this year.

Outside of his flaws off the field, Callaway boasts many positive attributes on it. The junior excels with separation as his release off the line paves way for almost an instant clean path to the endzone. Callaway uses a quick jab off the line to keep cornerbacks guessing and showcases top-notch agility in the open field to gash the secondary after the catch. As just an average route runner, Callaway has things to work on in that regard but shows crisp moves in the open field with the ability to stop and start on a dime and burst up field to grow into a good route runner.

His soft hands provide for an easy target along with his technique as hands catcher. He will have an occasional concentration drop but has a good habit of looking the ball into his hands securing it with his strong mitts. His ball tracking skills will be near the top of this solid vertical wide receiver group in the 2018 draft class. Because of poor to average quarterback play for the Gators the past two seasons, Callaway learned how to consistently adjust to the ball killing his route and coming toward the football.

An elite athlete with attractive quickness in the open field and plus long speed, Callaway looks to be a shiny receiver piece an NFL team could mold into a dynamic deep threat in a vertical passing scheme. However, Callaway has to win teams over with his attitude as his off the field baggage is quite heavy.




About Christian Page 134 Articles
Co-owner, co-host and website manager of The Draftster. Scout for Optimum Scouting.

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