Rookie Spotlight: Antonio Callaway, University of Florida
Height: 5’ 10 1/2” (official)
Weight: 200 lbs (official)
Hands: 9 1/2”
Arm: 31 1/2”
40 yard dash: 4.41 (combine)
NFL Comparison: Antonio Brown, Nelson Agholor
– naturally athletic
– maintains elite speed through routes
– quick acceleration and burst
– great leaping ability
– returns punts
– creates separation with ease
– continual off-field issues
– lacks strength
Scouting Notes: If Callaway could have kept himself out of trouble over his final season as a Gator, we would be talking about him as one of the top WR picks in the draft, because on the field he’s a playmaking machine. Athletic and spry, Callaway seemingly gets open at will, using his breakneck speed to create separation on virtually any route. What’s so great about him is that he seems to pick up speed throughout the play, rather than slow down in and out of his breaks. If he can’t outrun a guy, chances are he can out leap him with his 38.5’’ vertical – and a running start. Callaway’s game breaking prowess was displayed all over the field at Florida – at least prior to 2017, where he was used on reverses, run plays, pitches and the like, in addition to his role as a primary option in the passing game. Oh, and he’s an excellent punt returner as well, using good vision and body control to weave his way through traffic.
Callaway can do it all with his eyes closed, which is coincidentally one of his biggest faults. He doesn’t like to spend time in the weight room or the tape room, which may be well in good at the college level but won’t cut it in the pros. He’s going to have to learn how to discipline himself in multiple facets if he wants to create, and more importantly, maintain a career in the NFL.
Fantasy Outlook: Callaway was involved in a credit card fraud scheme that kept him off the field in 2017. That was just the top of a laundry list of off-field issues that have followed him incessantly. So much so, that teams are reportedly leaving him off their draft boards regardless of his impressive Combine performance. Even so, it is unlikely Callaway makes it past the third or fourth round of the draft, as his upside is second to none. He’s the kind of spark plug that can ignite an offense on any given play, and even with his issues he’s a well liked guy on his former team – more mischievous than malevolent.
I have no doubts that Callaway can be a dominant game day performer in fantasy, so he’s a worth a reasonably high dynasty pick if you can handle the bust potential. If he can surround himself with the right people and learn how to prepare adequately, he’s going to pay dividends in the NFL.