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Callahan O’Reilly Scouting Report | Montana State ILB | 2023 NFL Draft

Callahan O’Reilly Scouting Report: Montana State linebacker Callahan O’Reilly is a big time prospect.

Player Bio

No prospect in the 2023 NFL Draft encapsulates the definition of “hometown hero” better than Montana State Inside Linebacker Callahan O’Reilly.

Born and raised in Bozeman, Montana, O’Reilly was a local star at Bozeman High School, becoming a top performer on the Hawks’ football and basketball teams. On the football field, O’Reilly spent most of his high school career at the Tight End position but would later take over as the starting quarterback during his senior season. In the toughest division in the state, O’Reilly led Bozeman to an 8-3 record, carried his team to the MHSA Division AA Semifinals, and was a First Team All-Conference quarterback for the Hawks.

O’Reilly received a scholarship offer from Montana State during the spring before his senior year but did not commit to the Bobcats until late December. Enamored by the opportunity to play his hometown team, O’Reilly signed his letter of intent to play college football at Montana State under former Head Coach Jeff Choate.

O’Reilly redshirted his true freshman season and earned the opportunity to be Montana State’s scout team quarterback in 2017. However, he did not see himself being a quarterback for the remainder of his college career and requested a position change to the defensive side of the ball.

In 2018, O’Reilly began his career as an Inside Linebacker and transitioned nice to his new position. As a redshirt freshman, O’Reilly mainly played on special teams for the Bobcats and recorded five tackles in his first season of action.

During the following offseason in 2019, Montana State had an open competition for the two starting inside linebacker positions. O’Reilly competed with five other linebackers, including future second-round NFL Draft pick Troy Andersen, for the two spots during fall camp but did not land a starting position.

O’Reilly did not begin his redshirt sophomore season as a starter on the Montana State defense but was a valuable reserve linebacker during the first five games of the season. 

In the sixth game of the year, the Bobcats were set to face off against the Cal Poly Mustangs, who had been gashing defenses with a dangerous triple-option attack during the early half of the season. Needing a true run stuffer with the necessary athleticism and toughness to stack up against a triple-option offense, the Bobcats’ coaching staff granted O’Reilly his first collegiate start. The gamble paid off, and O’Reilly tallied 16 tackles and one tackle for loss in a double-overtime victory against Cal Poly.

In total, O’Reilly collected 91 tackles, 5.5 tackles for loss, and one sack as a redshirt sophomore and would start at inside linebacker for the remainder of his Montana State career.

Montana State canceled its 2020 season due to the Covid-19 Pandemic and did not resume play until the 2021 offseason.

In 2021, under new Head Coach Brent Vigen, O’Reilly started all 14 games at Will Linebacker and finished second on the team in tackles in a season where Montana State reached the FCS National Championship. O’Reilly finished the season with 105 tackles, four tackles for loss, one forced fumble, and one fumble recovery. O’Reilly also earned Second Team All-Big Sky honors for his performance as a redshirt junior.

In O’Reilly’s sixth and final season at Montana State, he guided the Bobcats to a 12-2 record and led the team in tackles, interceptions, and forced fumbles. Behind the best statistical season in O’Reilly’s career, Montana State reached the FCS Playoff Semifinals and finished the year as the number five team in FCS. O’Reilly accumulated 83 tackles, five tackles for loss, three sacks, four interceptions, three forced fumbles, and one fumble recovery, receiving First Team All-Big Sky recognition for the first time in his career.

Overall, O’Reilly capped off his Montana State career with 284 tackles, 14.5 tackles for loss, four sacks, four interceptions, four forced fumbles, and two fumble recoveries.

Scouting Report

At 6-foot-3, 235 pounds, Callahan O’Reilly possesses NFL-ready size highlighted by a strong build and high growth potential to add 10-15 pounds of mass to his well-developed frame.

O’Reilly has excellent reactionary athleticism, vision, and instincts for the Will Linebacker position. With great read & react ability and a fluid burst, O’Reilly can play downhill and fill running lanes efficiently. His vision and football intelligence allow him to diagnose plays before they develop, putting him in advantageous positions to impede ball carriers before they get to the second level.

O’Reilly’s athleticism and instincts also influence his pass-rushing ability; He displays a quick trigger, times his blitzes well, and uses his hands effectively to find his way into the backfield. Additionally, O’Reilly possesses sound technique as a tackler and had terrific tackling production during his time at Montana State.

O’Reilly’s high-level functional athleticism is also reflected in his impressive straight-line range and lateral ability. O’Reilly is not an exclusive downhill, run-stuffing linebacker that is limited to playing in the box; He also serves as a quality sideline-to-sideline linebacker who moves well in space and uses his proficient change of direction and lower-body mobility to patrol the middle of the field and beat ball carriers to the edge.

O’Reilly’s functional athleticism is on display when he drops into coverage. He transitions fluidly out of his breaks, displays skilled zone coverage in the hook/curl area of the field, and can cover the flats given his instincts, vision, and range. O’Reilly also possesses reliable ball skills and was decently productive at creating turnovers against the pass in college.

O’Reilly has ample strength at the point of attack but sometimes struggles to shed blocks at the second level. Relatively, O’Reilly plays too high and needs to lower his pad level to gain the leverage advantage when engaging with blocks in the box and open space.

O’Reilly has a versatile skill set that allows him to fit into multiple defensive roles and schemes at the next level. Given his size, toughness, tackling production, range, and coverage ability, O’Reilly should garner some late-round interest in the 2023 NFL Draft. He also has some special teams versatility as well, which should impact his chances of making a 53-man roster.

Draft Projection

Late 6th-Priority Undrafted Free Agent


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