WR Antonio Callaway, Cleveland Browns
Antonio Callaway is an amazing talent, but off-the-field issues are close to derailing his entire career. As a freshman and sophomore, Callaway was a key contributor in the Florida offense, averaging 699 yards and 3 touchdowns on 44 receptions. Because of several incidents he was involved in, Callaway missed the entire 2017 season. He was not likely to be welcomed back to Florida, so he declared for the 2018 NFL draft where he was thought to go undrafted due to the several red flags. At the combine, Callaway did not participate in all drills, but he did run an impressive 4.41-second 40-yard dash. He is an impressive specimen and extremely talented receiver, but if the off-the-field issues, such as credit card fraud and marijuana, continue, his NFL hope will vanish before he steps onto the field.
The Scout’s Notes
Callaway stands at 5’11” 200 pounds, which is a solid size for a receiver with his skillset. He is ultra-quick off the line of scrimmage and fights press coverage with ease. His route running is excellent and often creates huge separating from opposing defensive backs. He makes sharp breaks at the top of routes and attacks weak leverages of the cornerbacks, allowing for his quarterback to make throws into large windows. He possesses super strong and sticky hands which allow him to pull down any passes thrown his way. His overall athleticism and explosiveness is apparent both before and after the catch. Callaway is an all-around receiver with few holes in his game and has the ability to contribute in any NFL offense.
The Cleveland Browns selected Callaway in the early fourth round, much earlier than anyone had anticipated. With a load of weapons in front of him, Callaway likely will not see much of the field during his rookie season. Josh Gordon and Corey Coleman both have question marks surrounding them, so the potential for Callaway to sneak his way into a 2019 role is extremely possible. Because of his massive upside, he is a great flier to take at the end of the second round of all dynasty rookie drafts. His combination of talent and upside is easily worthy of a selection before fellow rookies Nyheim Hines, Dante Pettis, any Packers’ wideouts, and DJ Chark to name a few. Callaway has a great chance at being considered a steal two years from now.
The play at 0:19, Callway is positioned on the outside of the bunch-right formation. He and the receiver to his left both run vertically, but after 20 or so yards, Callaway breaks inside running a post pattern. The quarterback delivers the pass and Callaway high-points and uses his strong hands to make the tough catch.
The first play of the video, Callaway is seen at the bottom of the screen and begins the play by attacking the cornerback, who is playing a deep zone coverage. Once he hits the defender’s toes, he turns up the sideline and creates huge separation from the defender. The throw is nowhere near where it needs to be, but with Baker Mayfield throwing this ball in the NFL, Callaway’s speed and route running will pay dividends.
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