Photo of Andre Caldwell
Grade
?
  • 4.37 SEC
    Top Performer
  • 124.0 INCH
    Top Performer
  • 6.75 SEC
    Top Performer
  • 4.11 SEC
    Top Performer
  • 6'1" Height
  • 200LBS. Weight

Overview

To truly appreciate Andre Caldwell's football skills, you must look at what he does without the football and not judge him strictly on his statistics.

A punishing in-line and second-level blocker, Caldwell has proven to be a playmaker with the ability to strike from anywhere on the field, whether it is catching, running, throwing or returning the ball. He is the type of player opposing defenses must account for anytime he is on the field. The Florida game plan did not afford him many touches, but when he did get his hands on the ball, good things happened.

The brother of Reche Caldwell, Andre Caldwell plays with the same physical style of his elder sibling. However, he has had durability issues that forced him to miss 11 games over the last three years. Still, Andre Caldwell went on to set the school record with 185 receptions, the ninth-best total in Southeastern Conference history.

At Thomas Jefferson High School, Caldwell earned All-American honors from Parade and Super Prep (also rated the third-best receiver in the nation and fourth-best overall prospect in the state of Florida by Super Prep). Rivals.com listed Caldwell as the best receiver in the national prep ranks and the premier offensive player in the Southeast. BorderWars.com placed Caldwell third among the nation's receivers, as he also added USA Today All-USA second-team honors.

The first-team Class 4A All-State receiver was named to the Sunshine Network's All-Gridiron Team, adding 2001 Tampa Tribune Hillsborough County Player of the Year honors. As a senior, Andre passed and rushed for over a combined 2,200 yards, scoring 38 touchdowns, as he led his team to a 13-2 record and the Class 4A state championship game. He also scored on four punt returns in 2002 and was a standout in the U.S. Army All-American Bowl. During his junior campaign, he caught 52 passes for 1,162 yards (22.3-yard average) and 17 touchdowns.

The Sporting News named Caldwell to the All-Southeastern Conference Freshman team during his first season at Florida in 2003. He led all Gator freshmen with 19 receptions for 174 yards (9.2-yard average) and returned 22 kickoffs for 454 yards (20.6 avg). He averaged 48.5 all-purpose yards per game, finishing with 631 total yards. He also completed his only pass attempt for a 30-yard gain.

The Pro Football Weekly All-American honorable mention took over flanker duties, starting all 12 games in 2004. He ranked second on the team with 43 receptions for 689 yards (16-yard average) and three touchdowns, adding 66 yards and a score on two carries. Caldwell gained 174 yards on 11 kickoff returns (15.8-yard average) and amassed 929 all-purpose yards. He attempted one pass, delivered one solo tackle and recovered a fumble.

A preseason All-SEC first-team pick in 2005, Caldwell shifted to slot receiver under the new coaching staff. But, his season came to a halt when he broke a bone in his right leg while returning a kickoff vs. Tennessee. He managed to grab 10 passes for 148 yards and run for 64 yards, including a touchdown, on five carries (12.8-yard average). Caldwell returned four kickoffs for 124 yards (31.0 avg) and was averaging 112.0 all-purpose yards per game before the injury.

Caldwell came back better than ever in '06. The slot receiver started nine of 14 games, finishing second on the squad with a career-high 57 receptions for 577 yards (10.1-yard average) and six touchdowns. He also gained 102 yards with a score on 12 carries (4.9-yard average) and completed one pass for a 5-yard touchdown. After the football season, he joined the school's track team, competing at the SEC Outdoor Championships, running the 100-meter prelim in 10.74 to finish 19th.

One of four team captains while lining up at split end in 11 games in 2007, Caldwell sat out the Tennessee and Mississippi games after suffering a medial collateral ligament sprain in his right knee vs. Troy. He returned in limited action vs. Auburn, but left that game with a right hamstring strain. He managed to finish second on the squad with 56 catches for 761 yards (13.6-yard average) and seven touchdowns. He recorded one solo tackle and carried 12 times for 58 yards (4.8-yard average), including one score.

In 53 games at Florida, Caldwell started 35 times. He holds the school record with 185 catches for 2,349 yards (12.7-yard average) and 16 touchdowns. He rushed 41 times for 293 yards (7.1 avg) and four scores. He gained 752 yards on 37 kickoff returns (20.3 avg) and produced a total of 3,394 all-purpose yards, an average of 64.04 yards per game. He completed 1-of-3 passes for 35 yards, including a touchdown. He also recovered one fumble and recorded one solo tackle.

Analysis

Strengths

Positives: Has a tall, linear frame with room to carry at least another 10 pounds of bulk without losing quickness...Has a muscular build with good chest thickness, long limbs and a tight midsection...Built for speed, showing an explosive initial burst off the snap...Quick-twitch runner with the sudden movements to get open and gain valid yardage after the catch...Has excellent foot speed and balance, but only adequate change-of-direction agility...Shows good body control and arm extension to get to the ball at its high point and runs with a long, fluid stride...With his build-up type of acceleration, he is effective at getting behind coverage...Former quarterback who not only has a strong arm for the option pass, but easily can take plays from the chalkboard to the field, as he is smart enough to understand all the offensive players' assignments, especially his quarterback...Has a strong arm for the option pass...Playmaker who loves to get the ball in pressure situations...Shows good field awareness, as he does a good job of keeping his feet in bounds along the sidelines and is quick to recognize the defensive coverage to settle in the soft areas or elude his man on his route to the end zone...Uses his arm extension, hands and adequate upper-body strength efficiently to get a clean release and prevent defenders from getting into his body in attempts to reroute...When given a clear lane, he can threaten the deep zone immediately vs. off-man coverage...Has sharp stop-and-go action that lets him run crisp routes, knowing when to generate his second gear to run up on a defensive back or gobble the cushion...Gets in and out of his cuts well, when he keeps his pad level low and has the straight-line speed to stretch the field vertically (needs to show better hip snap to improve his burst when separating)...Can not only throw the ball with good accuracy and touch, but has the leg drive to break tackles on reverses...Quickly spots cutback lanes and has a sudden burst to get into the deep secondary...Is more effective eluding his defender when slipping through the soft spots working underneath, as he is best when utilizing his second gear to escape, as he does a nice job of accelerating out of his transition cuts...Runs at a good pad level and can threaten deep...Shows good awareness when his quarterback is pressured, breaking off his route instantly to come back for the ball...Has large, natural hands to extend and pluck away from his frame, but will revert to catching with his body at times...Maintains concentration on the ball in flight, looking the ball in over his outside shoulder well, even with a defender on his back...Shows good focus in regards to ball security, holding the ball firmly to get through the crowd...Has rare acceleration and makes initial tacklers miss...Excels at making the over-the-shoulder grabs and is quick to find the open area past the second level...Relies on his plant-and-drive agility to escape after the catch (more fast than elusive)...Shows his best RAC ability running the flash screen, hitches and curls...Takes good angles and keeps his pad level down when attacking linebackers working as a blocker in space...Knows how to plant and drive after the catch in attempts to elude defenders. Negatives: Has good strength, but it is not evident at times when working over the middle or on short routes (can get bounced around when he gets too high in his stance)...Good worker in the weight room, but sometimes does just enough and might need structure to develop better work habits...Has excellent speed, but only adequate change-of-direction agility. He relies more on his explosion to elude (one-cut runner with a little stiffness in the hips)...Uses his hands well vs. the press, but does not have enough raw power to defeat the jam vs. more physical defensive backs (see 2007 Troy, Florida Atlantic and Michigan games)...Good character, but has one known off-field incident (see below) and has never relished leadership, despite being named one of the team's four captains in 2007...Can take the ball up the wedge as a kickoff returner, but lacks the shifty moves to bounce outside and elude...Has natural hands, but prefers to body catch and is inconsistent plucking away from the frame in order to protect the ball from defenders...More of a pest-type blocker in the second level and gets good hand placement blocking at the line, but struggles some to sustain vs. a strong bull rush (needs better lower-body strength)...Has to develop looser hips in order to shift gears and redirect when on the move...Plays with good toughness, but does not have the strength to compete for balls in a crowd...Has the speed to get upfield quickly, but he is not a shifty runner, lacking the wiggle or change-of-direction to bounce off tacklers...Will shy away from contact working on the line and is not physical when facing up vs. the blitz (not always interested in getting himself dirty, failing to generate much pop behind his hits). Compares To: HINES WARD-Pittsburgh-Caldwell was a versatile weapon in high school and continued to succeed in a multi-faceted role at Florida. He settled in nicely as a wide receiver and can make an impact as a receiver, runner and has improved as a blocker. A little bigger and much quicker than Ward, Caldwell has the physical tools and football IQ to evolve into a Ward-like weapon. Caldwell has the second gear to get into routes quickly and takes pride in his ability to stretch a defense and make his opponent account for him on every play. He needs to add more strength and show more intent as a blocker. He also has had some durability concerns the last two years. With his lack of change-of-direction agility and hip swerve, he is best beating his man when accelerating straight-line.
C
Grade Title
9.00-10 Once-in-lifetime player
8.00-8.99 Perennial All-Pro
7.50-7.99 Future All-Pro
7.00-7.49 Pro Bowl-caliber player
6.50-6.99 Chance to become Pro Bowl-caliber player
6.00-6.49 Should become instant starter
5.50-5.99 Chance to become NFL starter
5.20-5.49 NFL backup or special teams potential
5.01-5.19 Better-than-average chance to make NFL roster
5.00 50-50 Chance to make NFL roster
4.75-4.99 Should be in an NFL training camp
4.50-4.74 Chance to be in an NFL training camp
No Grade Likely needs time in developmental league.
NFL News
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