Antonio Callaway will be the steal of the NFL Draft, maybe even more so after his recent positive marijuana test.
The fact that Antonio Callaway tested positive for marijuana at the NFL Combine will certainly deal a blow to his shaky draft stock. It will also make him the most valuable selection of the NFL Draft for the team that has the nerve to take him.
Many NFL scouts believe Callaway is the most naturally gifted wide receiver in this year’s draft. The concerns about the Florida star all lie off the field. He was accused of sexual assault, marijuana possession and using stolen credit card information during his time with the Gators. His positive test at the Combine is a continuation of a pattern of poor decisions for the talented receiver.
That laundry list of off the field issues should push Callaway’s draft status out of the first two days of the event altogether. It’s a distinct possibility he might not hear his name called at all this week. Again, that’d entirely a product of character concerns. If he was being drafted on talent alone he might creep into the top 10.
In other words, Callaway has a chance to massively reward the team that selects or signs him. Is there a chance he’ll turn out to be a bust due to his marijuana use? Absolutely. It’s also worth acknowledging that if the NFL banned every player who’d ever smoked marijuana, a lot more of them would be out of work.
If you look back at the history of the NFL Draft, it’s very clear that fortune favors the bold. Many sixth and seventh-round picks have to scratch and claw to make an NFL roster due to talent issues. Instead of wasting a late-round selection on a marginal talent, teams should be taking risks on potential Pro Bowlers.
That’s the kind of talent that Callaway has. When you watch his tape, he’s able to stand out against elite SEC defenders. This isn’t a small school player you have to work to project. We’re talking about a receiver that flourished at the highest level of college football.
Callaway won’t hear his name called anywhere near the top of the draft, but a smart NFL franchise will use his off the field issues to their advantage. Don’t be surprised if we look back at this draft a few years from now and ask ourselves just how Callaway fell this far.