Cowboys Potential Draft Picks: Bruce Campbell, OT, Maryland
The Cowboys’ situation at left tackle can be described as ‘unsettled’ at best. After releasing veteran Flozell Adams, the club seems content on giving Doug Free the opportunity to win the job. Free played right tackle in all but one game last season, however, and struggled mightily in his short stint at left tackle. It should be noted that he was facing Vikings’ pass-rushing stud Jared Allen.
Free may or may not be a starting-caliber left tackle. We believe this uncertainty is a problem for Dallas. The team is ready to make a Super Bowl run in 2010 and having questions at a position as critical as left tackle makes us uneasy.
Further, there simply isn’t much depth right now at the offensive tackle position. Second-year man Robert Brewster figures to be the primary backup tackle, but he has yet to play a down in the NFL.
We believe the top-tier offensive tackles in this year’s draft class will be taken by the Cowboys’ 27th selection. If one does happen to fall, it may be Maryland’s Bruce Campbell. It is debatable whether Campbell is truly a first round talent, as multiple scouts reportedly have a fourth round grade placed on him.
However, Campbell is set to visit the Cowboys today. Is this a smokescreen or is Campbell a legitimate option for the Cowboys in the first round?
Campbell is an absolute freak in terms of athleticism. At 6’6”, 314 pounds, he ran a 4.85 forty-yard dash at the Combine. Let that sink in. He also benched pressed 225 pounds 34 times. With that sort of size/strength/speed combination, Campbell has an incredible chance of being drafted 8th overall to Oakland.
If Oakland passes, however, Campbell will likely fall a bit. Other teams place more emphasis on game tape–Campbell has a lot of ‘bad tape.’
Campbell’s athleticism makes it easier for him to recover from giving up the edge in pass protection. The problem is he actually gets beat quite often. This is due to his upright stance and lack of elite leverage. Despite his athleticism, Campbell frequently loses his balance and allows defenders who have no business beating him to do so.
Still, pass protection is his strength. In terms of run blocking, Campbell is not a first round prospect. Despite his bench press reps, he does not play like a ‘mauler.’ His weight room strength does not appear to fully translate to on-field strength.
Campbell would probably be best-suited landing with a team like the Houston Texans who run a zone-blocking scheme. This would allow him to utilize his quickness. For this reason, we don’t see Campbell as a great fit in Dallas.
Overall, Campbell is certainly a boom-or-bust pick–perhaps to the highest degree of any player in this class. His upside is outstanding. Unfortunately, his downside is quite ‘outstanding’ as well. Do the Cowboys have the luxury of being able to wait on Campbell’s development? Probably not.
Like we said, Campbell’s measurables make him a great fit for Oakland at the 8th overall pick. If he slides passed the Raiders, we see zone-blocking and West Coast offense clubs as the best fit–San Francisco, Green Bay, Philadelphia.
There is a legitimate chance that Campbell’s poor game tape causes him to fall to the Cowboys’ selection. Will they pull the trigger? It would probably depend on who else is on the board, but we suspect that they might try to trade out of the pick.
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