Packers: Five bold predictions for the 2018 NFL Draft

CHESTNUT HILL, MA - OCTOBER 07: Harold Landry /
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ATLANTA, GA – DECEMBER 03: Antonio Callaway
ATLANTA, GA – DECEMBER 03: Antonio Callaway /

5. The Packers draft Antonio Callaway

Antonio Callaway is one of the more troubled prospects in recent memory. He was involved in credit card fraud cases during his time at Florida, among other things. I don’t want to get into all of those issues. I’m here to talk about Antonio Callaway, the football player.

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Had he been a clean prospect off the field Callaway could easily be a first-round talent. He seems to play at a different speed than everybody else on the field. He’s a big play waiting to happen at any given moment. Callaway can catch passes, take end around sweeps and return kicks and punts at an elite level. He’s a bit raw in the technical aspects of the position, like running crisp routes, but he makes up for it with his explosiveness into and out of those breaks.

Dante Pettis, from Washington, is a prospect I really like for the Packers. Callaway profiles similar to Pettis in size and athleticism as well as the return capabilities they have. Callaway may actually be better than Pettis. The difference, of course, is Callaway can’t be trusted by his coaching staff to stay out of trouble.

My strongest argument for Callaway, which is hard to make, is that sometimes these players just figure it out once they’re out of college. Tyrann Mathieu is a perfect example of this working out.  He’s now one of the better players at his position in the league. Other times, this isn’t the case. Reuben Foster may never play football again after a promising rookie season. He just couldn’t stay out of trouble.

I’m not expecting this pick to happen early. It’s possible Callaway doesn’t get drafted by anybody at all because of his issues. But the Packers have too many picks to not take a risk here or there and Callaway is the perfect risk. Players like this are never on Green Bay’s draft board. It’s just never been worth the trouble. There’s a first time for everything.

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Callaway is a huge gamble, but the Packers have the ability to make him work. He would also fill a tremendous need and wouldn’t require an early pick. If it works, Guetkunst would be a hero. I think he needs to pull the trigger.