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Prospect Profiles: OT Bruce Campbell

If you don’t know his name yet. Learn it. If you’re into drawing up your own mock drafts and such make sure you pay attention to the Combines because Bruce Campbell is about to explode much like Jason Smith did last year (or Tyson Jackson, or Darrius Heyward Bey or Vernon Gholston, Jerod Mayo, Dominque Rodgers Cromarite in 2008).

Bruce Campbell will obliterate all drills in his post-season workouts and WoW scouts.


6’6 314 pounds.

from Maryland athletics website.

posted a bench press of 490 lbs. in spring 2009 testing, the second-highest total in school history … surrendered his final year of eligibility to enter the 2010 NFL Draft

Personal: Born May 25, 1988 … parents are Bruce and Rita Campbell … father was an area high school legend in basketball who ultimately starred at Providence College in the `70s and was selected by the New Jersey Nets in the eighth round of the 1978 NBA Draft … father is in the Providence Athletics Hall of Fame and played professional hoops overseas … enrolled in letters and sciences.

Pro Draft Party Video

Bruce Campbell

Scouting Reports

First up is by one of my favorite Football Writers and that is K.C. Joyner.

Every Tuesday, K.C. Joyner writes up a “Draft Lab” on a potential 2010 NFL Draft entrant. This one isn’t potential — Maryland OL Bruce Campbell has said he’ll be entering the April festivities. For a full archive of KC’s thoughts on various prospects, please click here.

One of the traps that football personnel evaluators have to constantly remain vigilant against is overvaluing one facet of a position; this often happens, for example, with quarterbacks and arm strength. As important as velocity is for a passer, it is rather meaningless unless it is combined with accuracy. Passing power can be so alluring that it is easy to give it more credence than it deserves if one isn’t careful.

That mindset also comes into play for left tackles and pass blocking in large part because of “The Blind Side” (first as a book, then as a movie); the public’s perception of pass blocking is now at the loftiest of heights.

As important as protecting the passer is for the left tackle position, two moves made by NFL teams the past two seasons show that professional talent evaluators still understand the value of run blocking at that position.

The first was when the Miami Dolphins drafted Michigan left tackle Jake Long as the No. 1 pick in the 2008 draft. Long was a good pass blocker — but he was an elite run blocker, and it was the combination of these traits (not just his ability to protect the corner of the offensive line) that moved him to the top slot in the selection process.

The second was when the Philadelphia Eagles traded for Buffalo left tackle Jason Peters this past offseason. According to the metrics I compiled for Scientific Football 2009, Peters was coming off of a season where he was tied for last place with Houston’s Duane Brown for most sacks allowed among left tackles.

It may have seemed odd for the Eagles to be willing to part with a first and fourth round draft pick for someone coming off of a pass blocking season like that, but a look at the run metrics shows why Philly wanted Peters. Peters’ 90.9% Point of Attack (POA) run block win percentage was the 2nd highest among left tackles and 8th best among all offensive linemen. The Eagles obviously valued his ability to keep Donovan McNabb from getting hit but they also wanted his help in solving their short-yardage running woes and that was likely the clincher in closing the deal.

I bring all of this up because of what the metrics said about Maryland left tackle Bruce Campbell (currently listed as the No. 12 pick on Todd McShay’s Mock Draft 1.0). Let’s start with his pass blocking.

Campbell allowed three splash plays (defined as when a defender does something to negatively impact a passing play) in the five Terrapin games I broke down (at California, vs. Clemson, vs. Virginia, at Florida State and vs. Boston College).

As noted in the Trent Williams Draft Lab (read that here), the best professional pass rushers allow four or fewer splash plays in a season — so this isn’t a dominant number. Having said that, it does compare favorably to Williams’ splash play totals (four in five games) and was much better than the number tallied in Anthony Davis’ Draft Lab (eight splash plays in five games).

Going on those numbers alone, I would have considered Campbell a solid professional left tackle prospect, but his stock shot up considerably when reviewing the run metric totals. Campbell was at the Point of Attack (POA) of a running play 38 times and won 35 of his blocks. That equates to a 92.1% POA win percentage, which, as detailed in the Peters analysis, would be an elite number in the NFL. In addition, Campbell received double team blocking help on only 11 of those plays, so his one-on-one POA win percentage was a superb 88.9%.

The scouting eye notes on Campbell’s run blocking weren’t quite as good as numbers, but they were still almost entirely positive. One bright spot was that he was used as a pulling tackle quite often, which is an underrated skill that many NFL teams would take advantage of. His biggest issue is that he didn’t consistently finish his blocks. That would be a problem if it were due to a lack of effort, but in Campbell’s case it was inconsistent technique, so it is something that should be able to be coached out of him.  From a pass blocking viewpoint, the major scouting eye concern is that Campbell received a lot of help from other blockers; this made me look back at the numbers, which showed Campbell received some kind of assistance from another blocker on 31 out of 120 dropback pass plays. That is a bit higher than one would expect from an elite pass blocker, but it is probably more due to Maryland’s heavy use of zone blocking and facing two teams with 3-4 schemes than it is a sign that Campbell has blocking issues.

The Football Scientist Lab Result: If I were to grade the three left tackles reviewed thus far in the Draft Lab series, I would rate Campbell No. 1, Davis No. 2 and Williams No. 3. I plan to focus on Oklahoma State Cowboys OT Russell Okung in an upcoming edition as well. Campbell is just as — if not more — adept at guarding the blindside as the other two and there is every reason to think he could develop into a dominant NFL run blocker. That doesn’t seem to be the consensus perception of his skills and that disparity means that he receives a TFS seal of approval.


  • Prototypical length and frame
  • Athletic freak
  • Displays good flexibility
  • Smooth, fluid hips
  • Outstanding ability to adjust, mirror, and recover
  • Elite agility and speed
  • Great in pass protection
  • Nice awareness; head on swivel and picks up blitz
  • Good hands; extends and locks on
  • Light on his feet
  • Instinctual
  • Solid run blocker
  • Love his footwork
  • Ridiculously high upside
  • Room to develop strength and body mass
  • Elite skill set
  • Weaknesses:
  • Inexperienced – only 17 career starts
  • Too upright in pass protection
  • Natural knee bender?
  • Plays with narrow base
  • Legit durability concerns
  • Summary: Consider Bruce Campbell the Jason Smith of the 2010 NFL Draft class. His stock will be soaring through the roof once we get to the Combine, however, he is more of a natural pass protector than Smith. With more experience, he could become a Pro Bowl left tackle at the next level. Of course, you have to consider his long list of injuries, but he’ll likely be taken in the top 16 picks.
  • Player Comparison: Branden Albert. Albert and Campbell have great physical tools, but I think Campbell is more of a natural left tackle. Both were raw offensive tackle prospects.
  • Draft Board

    Scouting Report: I had hoped when this season started to just take notes on Campbell, and be ready to hit him hard for he 2011 draft.  But the rumor is, Campbell is seriously considering declaring as a Junior.  First the good news.  Campbell is as athletic a tackle as their is in the country and a pure left tackle prospect.  He’s a very strong run blocker, who’s got an awesome punch, and can navigate much larger defender with his superior leverage.  He gets to the second level and finishes with total disrespect for his opponents.  His athletic ability also shines in pass protection.  He can drop back, slide well, and can cut off a rusher inside and out quickly.  Does  a great job redirecting a pass rusher and has great awareness in assignments.  Lots of great stuff right?  Now the bad news.  Campbell has a laundry list of injury concerns and those could cost him dearly in the draft.  But his inability to stay healthy may push him to the draft, rather than temp another year of injuries without an NFL contract behind it.

    Draft Status: If Campbell can get through the year, and check out medically, there’s a real shot he ends  up the 2nd tackle off the board and that means a top 15 pick.  It’ll be a tough call for Campbell, and it’ll depend largely on his health.  Any team that chooses to draft him will have to weigh out if the risk is worth the potential that Campbell has shown.

    Final Analysis: In this draft, the no.2 tackle spot is wide open, and there’s a lot of money that goes with it.  Medical red flags are huge in the NFL, maybe moreso than character problems, because if you are a knucklehead you can still get out on Sunday and contribute, but if you are brittle you aren’t any good to anyone.  Campbell has a ton of potential and more upside than any tackle in the draft.  But he’s got a decision to make.  Come back next year, and if you can stay well, probably lock up a top 5 pick or do you bolt now, and not risk getting hurt again in college, and drop further in the 2011 draft.  If I’m campbell, I know I have NFL talent, so I do all I can to get healthy, have a great offseason and head to greener pastures.

    Reminds me of:Chris Williams, OT Chicago Bears-Not necessarily in terms of skills, but when you consider the shadow on injuries that followed Williams to the league, and then the problems he had entering the league, you can see where he and Campbell are similar.  Teams must know Campbell is healthy and can play, so they go through what Chicago went through with Williams.

    Red Flags: Huge injury red flags

    CBS Draft Scout

    NFL Comparison: Alex Barron, St. Louis Rams

    Despite missing three games in 2009 with a sprained left MCL and turf toe, Campbell decided to leave Maryland a year early. The big man’s athleticism comes from great genetics: Campbell’s father, Bruce, Sr., played well enough for the Providence basketball team that the New Jersey Nets picked him in the eighth round of the 1978 draft.Though the PrepStar All-American never missed a game in high school, his college experience has been very limited. He played in five games as a freshman, with one start against Clemson, after attending Hargrave Military Academy in 2006. As a sophomore, he started the last seven contests at left tackle after appearing as a reserve in the first six games.Teams will consider him a top 50 prospect because of his frame, length and agility. But his relative lack of experience and consistency as a run blocker both on the line and in space will make scouts wonder if he’ll be an elite player at the next level.
    Pass blocking: Sets quickly with good knee bend. Comes out to meet his man with a strong punch instead of catching him. Uses his length to lock up most defensive ends before they get started on their outside move. When focused, he can move laterally with his man and keep him covered up. Resets his hands after initial contact. Adjusts well to tackle-end twists. His height can be a detriment against strong but small ends, who get under his pads and push him into the backfield. He manages to anchor eventually, though. Lacks recovery speed and will get lazy moving his feet against a hustling end with counter pass rush moves. Uses an armbar to prevent inside rush when beat.Run blocking: Locks onto his man after firing off the snap. Seals the edge well and can turn his man out of the hole. Lunges as a power drive blocker, however, often losing his balance and missing his target. A work in progress in this area.Pulling/trapping: Mobile enough to get out in front of quick screens and off-tackle runs. Must improve his effectiveness as a cut blocker, often failing to even reach the ground. Throws his body towards a defender instead of locking on and sustaining.Initial Quickness: Run blocks and pass protects out of a three-point stance. Fair quickness off the snap, generally getting a good angle on his kick slide and initial pop on run blocks. He will get off late at times and not get set, allowing his man to get him on skates.Downfield: Agile enough to get into space, and knows how to get the correct angle at the second level. Tough to get away from once latched on, but has trouble adjusting to safeties and linebackers because they get by him with quickness. Could hustle a bit more to reach a second target.

    ESPN”s Scouts Inc

    Production 3 2007: (5/1) 2008: (13/7) 2009: (9/9)
    Height-Weight-Speed 1 Elite measurables and is expected to turn heads during pre-draft workouts.
    Durability 4 2009: Misses two games with turf toe and another game with a medial collateral ligament injury. 2008: Underwent ‘minor’ brain surgery to drain fluid
    Intangibles 3 2009: Head coach Ralph Friedgen says Campbell will attend meetings but go to study hall when the team takes the field at the beginning of spring practices.
    Offensive Tackle specific Traits
    Awareness 2 Keeps head up and on a swivel before and after the snap. Makes sound pre-snap reads and recognizes pressure coming off the edge. Above-average poise and does a good job of passing off stunting defensive linemen. Takes poor angles to downfield blocks.
    Toughness 3 Flashes violent punch (See 1st QTR of 2009 Florida State game) and can finish blocks but inconsistent in this area and too much of a finesse blocker at this point. Gets lazy with footwork (See 1st QTR of 2009 Boston College game) raising concerns about me
    Pass Protection 2 Gets set quickly, flashes an effective kick-step and can prevent edge rushers from turning the corner. Excellent lateral agility, redirects with relative ease and can counter double moves. Appears to have long arms and can stop pass rushers in tracks with
    Run Blocking 3 Quick enough to get into sound initial position and wall defenders off but legs frequently go dead on contact and doesn’t get great push. Can seal the edge when asked to zone block and collapse defensive tackles inside when asked to down block. Can get ar

    Big Board Rankings (2/2)

    ESPN Scouts Inc. 20th

    Draft Board Insider  25th 32 9th

    Where the Mocks have him falling

    Bartolis Summary and Final Verdict

    I think I’ve made it pretty clear now that I’m not a man who is entirely concerned with addressing a need in the N.F.L. Draft. I want to take the best player available …and I think for the most part Jerry Reese does do this, although he seems to do this more after the first round.

    The first round Reese has often addressed needs (but when doing so often happened to address the Best Player Available or close to as well). Aaron Ross was highly regarded, Kenny Phillips was Best Player Available it just happened to be the position the Giants needed most. I thought he was best player available every single time after Leon Hall was drafted 18th. Hakeem Nicks though seemed to be a need pick although he was good value, I think most people had Rey Maluaga, RB Chris Wells was definitely rated higher, but I think Nicks was rated about where he was picked so good value, but not Best Player Available.

    Point is: the Giants Reese will take best player availabe most of the time especially after the first round.

    But this year, Reese has more flexiliby than ever deciding on which position to address.

    Reese could address Secondary, DL, OL, Running back or linebacker. I expect to get great value at 15th overall and if Bruce Campbell remains at 15th overall it could certainley be great valuable (emphasis on the word Great). He’s as good a player, if not better than Jason Smith (#2 overall) was last year and he has the talent level to be one of the elite tackles in the N.F.L.

    He does have some questions though: Is he lazy? Will he stay healthy?

    Like I’ve been saying so far…the # 2 tackle battle is wide open and that there are a lot of very quality tackles in this year’s draft. The Giants would make a good choice in taking one of these very good tackle prospects and set themeselves up for the next 10 or 15 years with William Beatty anchoring one side and Davis, Campbell, Baluaga, Trent Williams anchoring the other.

    I’ll get into this more later, but after McClain, Spiller, and  Earl Thomas I am FOR drafting an OT at #15th overall and the tackle you want to see there is Bruce Campbell (although Anthony Davis is also a good prospect).

    Previous Profiles

    ILB Daryl Washington

    DT/NT Dan Williams (Updated with K.C. Joyner’s Draft Lab 2/7)

    CB Kyle Wilson

    DT Jared Odrick

    DE Carlos Dunlap

    ILB Micah Johnson

    DT Arthur Jones

    OT Bryan Baluga

    OT Anthony Davis (UPDATED 2/5/10)

    DT Brian Price

    ILB Brandon Spikes

    S Earl Thomas

    ILB Rolando McClain

    RB C.J. Spiller

    S Taylor Mays

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    15 Responses to “Prospect Profiles: OT Bruce Campbell”

    1. steve says:

      I dont know what 2 think pierce gone STEVE B i guess u right mcclain might be there pick, unless they go though fa this kid no this make it look like a LB.

    2. Brian H says:

      Drafting a stud OT actually makes a lot of sense. It all depends on the grades by the Giants scouts and Reese on all these players in this year’s draft. If they grade one of them as a potential fixture and All-Pro talent at LT for the next decade and he slips to #15, then they will just have to find answers to those defensive needs later in the draft and through free agency.
      George Young used to say that there are only so many “dancing elephants” and you need to go get them when you see them available. So true!

    3. […] Bruce Campbell, like I, and many others predicted Blew-Up at the Combine. […]

    4. […] Bruce Campbell, like I, and many others predicted Blew-Up at the Combine. […]

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