The Cleveland Browns are continuing to mine some of the more marginal or questionable prospects in the 2018 NFL Draft class. On Thursday, they hosted former Florida wideout Antonio Callaway, according to Rotoworld and NBC Sports analyst Josh Norris:
In 2015 and 2016, Callaway totaled 89 receptions for 1,399 yards and seven scores. He is also a skilled punt and kick returner, with 55 punt returns for 653 yards and two scores as well as six kick returns for 176 yards and a touchdown.
NFLDraftScout.com’s Dane Brugler says that Callaway has, “Above average play speed and everything he does is quick,” and “dangerous YAC skills to elude defenders on screens/slants.” Meanwhile, NFL.com’s Lance Zierlein notes that Callaway is an “Exceptional athlete,” one who “Possesses tremendous pure speed and maintains it throughout his routes,” and “Torments man coverage if he’s allowed to operate in space.”
However, Callaway’s off-field red flags may significantly overpower whatever on-field potential he possesses. Callaway spent the entire 2017 season suspended for his role in a credit card fraud scheme. He’s also been charged with marijuana possession and, in 2015, was the subject of a sexual assault investigation.
An NFL scout told Brugler, “[Callaway will] fail at least one drug test in the NFL. Put that in your guide,” while an AFC personnel director told Zeirlein, “[T]here are just too many headaches to deal with so I can’t see us taking a chance on him. Our owner will say no and I don’t even think we would put him on our board to be honest.”
While Callaway has impressive athletic skills, the off-the-field concerns are likely the reason why the Browns are among the teams that want to get to know him better before making a final decision about his character. He’s on the team’s draft board for now, but this meeting will determine whether he stays there.