Prospects

Prospects
Photo of Antoine Caldwell
Antoine Caldwell (OG)
Height: 6'3"
Weight: 309
College: Alabama
Conference: SEC
Hometown: Montgomery, AL
High School: Lee
Featured Prospects
Selected by: Houston Texans
Round: 3
Pick (Overall): 13 (77)
Discuss
Pick Analysis: The Texans pick up an underrated pivot with good strength and power in Caldwell. He excels at moving defenders off the ball and is crafty enough to handle savvy interior rushers at the point of attack.
  1. Overview
  2. Analysis
Overview

One of the most consistent snappers in college football, the four-time starter and two-time team captain began his career as an offensive guard before finding a home in the middle of the field. He also has filled in at offensive tackle when injuries depleted the depth along the Crimson Tide front wall. The unquestioned "heart and soul" of the offensive unit, he was the recipient of the 2008 Mal Moore Leadership Award.


The anchor of one of the most physical offensive lines in the major college ranks, Caldwell has outstanding agility, foot speed and flexibility. His ability to handle the bull rush and widen the rush lanes saw Alabama improve its 60th-place national ranking in rush offense (149.23 ypg) in 2007 to a 30th-place ranking in 2008 (184.64 ypg). The Tide's success on the ground also greatly improved the numbers in the win column, as Alabama rushers scored 32 times in Caldwell's final season, compared to 19 times during his junior year.


Caldwell was the premier athlete on Montgomery's powerhouse Lee High School football team. He allowed just one quarterback sack and graded 85 percent for blocking consistency as a senior, earning first-team All-State honors. That year, he was rated the 10th-best overall prospect in the state of Alabama by Super Prep magazine.


One of four All-State offensive linemen to enroll at Alabama, Caldwell spent the 2004 season performing as an offensive guard on the scout team. In 2005, he took over left guard duties for the first 11 games, moving to center vs. Texas Tech in the Cotton Bowl. He registered 62 knockdowns while participating on 772 plays. He was named first-team Freshman All-American by Rivals.com, adding second-team accolades from College Football News. He added All-SEC Freshman Team honors and was selected SEC Freshman of the Week for his performance vs. Florida.


As a sophomore, Caldwell was firmly entrenched at center, starting all 13 games. He was one of five players on the squad to log over 800 snaps (810), as he produced 58 knockdowns, leading the team in that category in four contests. He was selected SEC Offensive Lineman of the Week vs. Vanderbilt and chosen team Player of the Game vs. Louisiana-Monroe, serving as squad captain in that game and also vs. Louisiana State.


Caldwell was named offensive team captain in 2007. He was a member of the Rimington Award (nation's best center) Watch List and started the first five games at center. Injuries forced the staff to shift Caldwell to left offensive guard for the Houston clash and the following week, he started at right guard vs. Mississippi.


He was ruled ineligible for four midseason games, as he and several athletes were suspended for what school administrators called "a violation of institutional policy involving impermissible receipt of textbooks." When Caldwell returned to the field for the final two contests, he was shifted to right offensive tackle vs. Auburn before moving back to center for the Independence Bowl. Despite all the position shuffling, he graded 84.67 percent for blocking consistency, delivering eight touchdown-resulting blocks.


The 2008 season saw Caldwell garner the national attention that escaped him earlier in his career. The Rimington Award finalist earned All-American first-team recognition from The Sporting News and AFCA. He also received All-Southeastern Conference first-team honors. He started all 14 games at center, ranking second on the team with 92 knockdowns, as he finished with an 85.93 percent blocking consistency grade.


High School

Attended Lee (Montgomery, Ala.) High School...Allowed just one quarterback sack and graded 85 percent for blocking consistency as a senior, earning All-State first-team honors... That year, he was rated the 10-best overall prospect in the state of Alabama by Super Prep magazine.


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Analysis

Positives: Good height and plays with a wider base than his weight may signal. Excellent burst after the snap, getting up into his man very quickly to create a gap or pass protect. Strong enough to put tackles on the ground, but quick enough to get to the outside shoulder of either guard to help protect the quarterback. Strong, active hands to engage the defender and can drive defenders off the ball. Smart player who makes line calls. Adept at the shotgun snap. Durable. Four-year starter.


Negatives: Could be more aware and help the quarterback as plays break down. Lacks elite lateral quickness to get down the line or get to linebackers in combo or zone blocks. Lumbers a bit when trying to get downfield to block.


Injury Report

2004: Granted a medical hardship after breaking a bone in his foot during fall camp.


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