With the top pick in the second round of the 2021 NFL Draft, the Jaguars selected former five-star recruit Tyson Campbell. The 6'1", 193-pound cornerback from Georgia is a 21-year-old true Junior from Plantation, Florida.
After adding two offensive superstars at the college level in round one, the Jags opted to land a cornerback who never quite lived up to his lofty recruiting status as the number two cornerback in the 2018 class.
Today, we'll break down his strengths, weaknesses, and overall fit with the Jaguars.
Strengths: Campbell is long and fast. As Jaguars' head coach Urban Meyer pointed out, Campbell's confidence in his make-up speed allows him to play under control in coverage. He's sticky early in routes and is excellent at mirroring down the field. His generally tight coverage forces QBs to look for other targets more often than not. Campbell has a nose for the end zone, having scored twice in his college career, once after forcing and recovering a fumble and once on special teams coverage. There's some versatility to his game with the ability to line up on the outside or in the slot. When aligned inside, Campbell's length sometimes presents issues for receivers at the catch point. Campbell is a willing tackler.
Weaknesses: Campbell struggles once the ball is in the air. He allowed a completion percentage of 65 when targeted in primary coverage. He's inconsistent with finding the ball and attacking it at the catch point. Campbell recorded just ten pass breakups in 31 games at Georgia. He sometimes struggles to stay connected at the top of routes. He could stand to add some functional strength and play with more physicality early in routes.
Fit in Duval: Campbell's speed, length, versatility, and recruiting status lured Urban Meyer in. He joins a deep group of cornerbacks in Jacksonville. The fact that he doesn't have to be the number one or even number two guy early in his career should aid in his development process. He's most likely to find early reps in the slot or even at safety. The Jaguars will run a ton of nickel and dime looks under new defensive coordinator Joe Cullen, so while Campbell won't necessarily be forced to cover opposing number one and two receivers, he is likely to find the field early. Can the Jaguars' defensive back coaches help Campbell become more productive and effective at the catch point?
Final thoughts: This was a reach based on my board. If I had to draft a versatile cornerback at this spot, I would have taken Asante Samuel Jr., who can play in the slot and outside, or Elijah Molden, who can play in the slot and at safety. Both prospects showed much more during their respective college careers than did Campbell. But the Jaguars are banking on his speed, length, and their coaches' ability to get the most out of the raw traits.
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