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Broncos roster review: Wide receiver Marquez Callaway

We already know the connection to Sean Payton isn’t coincidental. What’s in store for this former New Orleans Saint?

NFL: Carolina Panthers at New Orleans Saints Stephen Lew-USA TODAY Sports

Denver Broncos wide receiver Marquez Callaway played for University of Tennessee, racking up 92 receptions and 13 receiving touchdowns in 35 games. After going undrafted in 2020, he signed with the New Orleans Saints and got to work.

The wide receiver may be a new Bronco, but this isn’t his first time under the leadership of head coach Sean Payton and he’s already made a positive impression.

Quick Measurables:

Height: 6’4 and 1/4
Weight: 205lbs
Arms: 32 and 3/8
Hands: 9 and 3/8


Callaway joined Tennessee in 2016, recording only one reception in one game; however, his 2017 was more exciting with ten games, 24 receptions, and five touchdowns.

2018 and 2019 were productive years as well, as he recorded 11 and 13 games, respectively. He racked up two touchdowns from 37 receptions in ‘18 and six TDs from 30 receptions in ‘19, showing steady progress.

Callaway went undrafted in 2020, but signed with the New Orleans Saints that year and immediately went to work. Largely due to Michael Thomas’ ankle injury, he played 11 games, three of which he started, and managed 21 receptions for 213 yards (though no TDs) in that first year.

2021 would usher in Callaway’s first touchdown in the NFL. Originally slated to play alongside Thomas, who he covered for the previous year, Callaway was thrust back into the spotlight when Thomas once again suffered an injury. He started 11 games, playing in a total of 17, and scored six TDs from 46 receptions.

2022 was not as active for him, but he contributed 16 receptions for 158 receiving yards, as well as a TD. In total, the NFL has seen him in 42 games, completing 83 receptions for 1069 yards and 7 touchdowns.

After becoming a free agent in March of this year, the Broncos signed Callaway to their Payton-led roster.

His 2023 outlook

Callaway is currently placed behind Jerry Jeudy, Courtland Sutton, and Tim Patrick for the wideout depth chart. While the receiving room seems promising already (not to mention a healthy Patrick will likely be one of our most reliable offensive weapons for the upcoming season), it’s possible that Callaway could be brought in for backup — or more, depending on what Sean Payton sees in him during training camp.

Payton shared recently that Marquez made a “real strong impression.”

“He’s someone that found a niche and then all of a sudden, he’s in the starting lineup,” Payton explained, noting that Callaway’s weight is a bit high right now but it will go back down. “He’s in a good group.”

“He had one of those training camps that surprised us a little bit...we had a lot of success in those years with 15 years of free agents making the roster,” Payton noted, reiterating an approach he takes with players during training camps: however they got on the team — whether they were drafted or signed as free agents — doesn’t matter at all. “Once they’re here, we’re going to go by what we see.”

“I think we’ve got some depth there, and we’ve got good competition there,” Payton concluded about Callaway and the WR position.

Everything is at a wait-and-see for now. At any rate, it really seems like Payton has a vision and is ready to make that vision happen, so that makes me excited enough about the upcoming offense.