Name: Jack Campbell
Weight: 246 lbs
Ideal Role: Mike Linebacker
Pros: Campbell has been a solid inside linebacker for the Hawkeyes throughout his collegiate career. One of the things that immediately stood out to me was his size. Over the years, we have not seen many linebackers around the league this size. His physical presence was one of the key factors in his role as a middle linebacker. Campbell had a great nose for the football against the run. On almost all of the tapes I’ve watched on Campbell, he always seems to end up around the ball. He showed great technique against the run and was always moving downhill. Campbell possesses great technique in tracking the football and pursuing the runner from inside-out. His physicality and block-shedding was second to none. He does a great job in using his hands to shuck blockers and find the ball. In coverage, Campbell looked very solid in his drops. Iowa seemed to run a fair amount of cover 2 defense with Campbell defending the middle. He did a good job at finding crossers and not getting too deep or too shallow. This will translate well to the NFL as a lot of teams favor cover 2 defense.
Cons: One of the setbacks I noticed on Campbell’s film was his ability in man coverage. I worry about what he might look like matched up against some of the speedy running backs in man coverage schemes. Some man coverages will match up a linebacker like Campbell on a tight end, which could also be a concern for him. The tight ends of todays game are big threats in the passing game. His man coverage skill has increased throughout his years in college, but this will be something to watch at the next level. Campbell’s sideline-to-sideline range could also use improvement. He does a great job in pursuit but have noticed his range lacking in a couple of games.
While I don’t foresee Campbell landing with the Packers, I do think he will be a great fit in any NFL defensive scheme. I think he fits in real well with a 4-3 defense as a Mike backer but could do a good job playing a strong side 3-4 linebacker. Campbell should be off the board in the first round or early second round. Whoever grabs him won’t be disappointed.
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