Marquez Callaway’s career at Tennessee was a good one, but it felt like it could have been a great one. The 2020 NFL prospect played in an offense that featured — well — just some flat out bad quarterback play. Early in his career, the offense featured some putrid offensive line play, too. Coaching changes also played a role. The puzzle pieces just didn’t quite fit perfectly together for the former four-star recruit.
We first met Callaway on a Monday night against Georgia Tech in 2017. He and John Kelly threw the team on their back and pushed Tennessee to a dramatic win, which turned out to be something that team would only do three more times that season.
Callaway was special during that game though, snagging jump balls and making big things happen after the catch. He was used as a downfield threat, appearing to emerge as a legitimate weapon. That’s probably why the rest of his career comes off a bit disappointing.
As a senior, Callaway caught just 30 passes for 635 yards. That production won’t impress anyone in today’s college football world, but there’s some meat left on the bone here. To his credit, he averaged north of 20 yards per catch, something that NFL organizations will certainly take notice of.
We haven’t seen his name pop up in any mock drafts to this point — not even the seven rounders. Is he being overlooked? USA Today’s Dan Wolken thinks so.
Watching Callaway often left you wanting more in college, as he clearly demonstrated that he could be an elite deep threat but didn’t necessarily round out his skillset or compete as hard consistently as you’d like to see. But if you’re willing to make a straight-up talent play for someone who dealt with uneven circumstances in his college career, he’s worth a roll of the dice. Between the coaching changes at Tennessee and the fact he never played with a great quarterback, maybe putting him with a stable franchise and surrounding him with professionalism will get the most out of him. If that happens, he’s an NFL receiver. (USA Today)
Would it surprise anyone to see Callaway go undrafted? Absolutely not, in fact, we’re expecting that. But some team is going to add a guy after (likely) after the draft that has outstanding ball skills a downfield ability. He’ll also add something on special teams as a punt returner.
Callaway had a solid, unspectacular career in Knoxville. But he’s worth taking a small chance on at the next level.