Lacks size. Not tall and does not possess enough bulk at this time. - NFL.com
Central Michigan's Antonio Brown declared for the NFL Draft in 2010, just a junior from a smaller school, but one who put up huge numbers. In three seasons, he racked up 3,199 receiving yards on 305 catches, scoring 22 times. He also rushed for 598 yards for the Chippewas, adding another four touchdowns.
The scouts didn't see it.
Rated number 37 out of 276 WR's - NFL Draft Scout
Brown earned a trip to the Combine, where he would compete against other highly reputable wide receivers in that draft class, like Arrelious Benn (second round), Damian Williams and Brandon LaFell (both third round picks).
Judging him purely on his Combine numbers, or even when he improved on those at his pro day, Brown didn't bolster his floundering stock.
Scouts again couldn't look past his size.
Needs to add strength to more effectively beat press coverage and battled (sic) for the ball in the air. - NFL.com
The 2015 NFL Scouting Combine begins Tuesday, with drills scheduled to start Friday, the next Antonio Brown may be participating. The next late-round pick who doesn't fit into a neat mold of prototype; one who gives armchair scouts reasons to quickly point out flaws in thousand word posts all over the Internet.
Route running skills could use some refinement. - NFL.com
For all the routes Brown could not run when he was 22, he's running them now. When he was 22, scouts had to project where he would eventually reach as a player. It's a borderline impossible task, and one that began at the Senior Bowl, continues into the Combine and will eventually make pit stops at dozens of pro days before being placed together with other analysis before a team creates its final draft board.
Will round off breaks and is segmented when running intermediate in and out routes. - ESPN
Brown's ascension as a player is atypical. Odds are excellent there will be a sixth round pick in this year's draft who doesn't ever play a down in the NFL. The flaws pointed out by scouts, including the ones listed above, are fair. The question scouts and general managers ask after coming to their conclusions on their abilities today is whether they can iron them out of the player tomorrow.
The real mind-blower in all of this is, as funny as these evaluations seem now, they were all correct. Nothing is wrong with them. What isn't known is the level of drive a player has to work on those aspects. The Steelers selected Brown with the 195th overall pick in the 2010 NFL Draft.
Whatever scouts said about him before the draft stand a ways behind what was said about him two years after he was drafted.
We liked his potential. You could see talent...the first season when he practiced, you'd see a ball in the air and he'd be coming down with it against our starting defense. It just seemed like he kept making plays...It's exciting for us and I know it's exciting for Antonio because he's one of our hardest workers and he's never going to be satisfied. - Steelers GM Kevin Colbert in July, 2012, a day after announcing the Steelers signed Brown to a $42 million contract extension.