The DC Times

A New Way to Look at the Cowboys, NFL, and Fantasy Football

By Jonathan Bales

Cowboys Potential Draft Picks: Bruce Campbell, OT, Maryland

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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?

Scouting Report

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.

Projection

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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31 Responses to Cowboys Potential Draft Picks: Bruce Campbell, OT, Maryland

  1. Omar says:

    he lacks tecnique, but so does ducasse and people is in love with him, why?

  2. I think two reasons:
    1. Ducasse will probably be picked a full round later. Huge difference in money and expectations.
    2. Ducasse is more versatile. He could realistically work out at all five offensive line positions.

    I think they are very different players, but you are right in saying they are both raw (and both have big upside). Still, I think Campbell’s downside (taking into account where he will be selected) makes him a riskier pick.

  3. Martin says:

    Although I do think it would be wise for the Cowboys to acquire Jared Gaither, I doubt it is going to happen. The Cowboys are in love with Free, who actually didn’t play that badly during the playoff loss to Minnesota. He got beat once — end result Felix Jones tackled for a loss. Allen then beat Witten for a blindside sack of Romo. Apart from that Allen only had another assisted tackle. Free held his own pretty well in that game, IMO.

  4. I respectfully disagree…Free got beat multiple times in that game…yielding QB sacks isn’t the only thing a lineman can do wrong in pass pro.

    Having said that, Free did play decently in the regular season and you are right that the Cowboys are in love with him.

  5. Tyrone Jenkins says:

    Yes, we need a LT. Unfortunately, unless we trade up (WAY UP) to get Okung or Bulaga, then I doubt anyone playing the LT position will be able to seriously challenge Free and/or Brewster for a starting job.

    Because of that, I think we should trade out of the 1st round (preferably w/ an AFC opponent like KC or Oakland who have high 2nd round picks. Ducasse is raw but a much better value than anyone available at pick #27. Trade down and get into the top of the 2nd, pick up a 5th and something next year (like a 6th).

    We only have 6 picks this year and this is one of the DEEPEST drafts in a long time. A 5th round pick next year might not be as valuable.

  6. Not a bad plan. I originally was against trading down this year, but the release of Adams and Hamlin, along with the possibility of Buehler taking over all kicking duties, opens up some spots.

    There just isn’t a realistic chance of Dallas acquiring a starting-caliber LT (one to start ahead of Free I mean) at 27. Trading down is of course dependent on player availability.

    However, I wouldn’t trade down if Pouncey falls.

  7. Martin says:

    Yes, and I did say ‘not that badly. And held his own pretty well’. The reason I say those things, is because the expectations for Free are so low. He didn’t pull a Colombo and get Romo killed every second snap, and he didn’t draw attention to himself with penalties. He didn’t play very well, or even good, but either did any of the other offensive lineman for Dallas.

  8. I’d say the interior linemen played pretty well, but as far as tackles, I think you are right. . .all played fairly poorly in 2009.

  9. Frank Buffington says:

    I’m surprised I haven’t heard people mention a possible position switch to DE in a 3-4 for Campbell IF he busts as an OT. He has the athleticism, but the questions would be if his motor, leverage, and aggression would be up to par.

    I wish these highlight videos would show all plays or at least all plays from a game or a half. You don’t see the negative plays that define how effective an OL really is. His good plays looked great, but do his bad plays look really bad?

  10. The problem is that you can’t spend a 1st round pick on a guy who you plan to move to a position he has never played. If Campbell loses leverage at LT, how is he going to maintain it at DE?

  11. john coleman says:

    Heck move him to RB and let him be our version of Brandon Jacobs. Seriously, I see your point of the risk and the high selection. I think moving down is a real possibility. Odrick,Iupati,Pouncey,Wilson, or Thomas will keep us at 27th. Possibly Davis as well if he falls. For the record, I think Bulaga is a tick overrated. Speed guys will eat him up. Also I could see trading Crayton,Hurd, and your choice of DEs for picks. Preferably early 2nd and 3rd. For me, Campbell is one of those guys, I have a gut feeling about. I just keep thinking two to three years down the road he is dominate. Would love to see him fall to late 2nd.

  12. Martin says:

    No. I just meant in the playoff loss. The line was good and bad during the regular season. Inconsistent is the word I would use. The Denver and Green Bay games come to mind.

  13. John–I agree trading a player is possible, although I don’t think anyone will give up a pick for Hurd. I hope you are right on Campbell, because I have a feeling he will be available for Dallas. However, there is no chance IMO that he drops into the late 2nd. Early 2nd…yes.

    Martin–Okay I got ya. Yea, inconsistent is a good word for the 2009 line play. Romo has really made them look a lot better in pass pro than they are.

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  15. Jerard Gaithers would be far better than any player left at slot 27. Both Taylor Mays and Bruce Campbell are work out combine warriors, neither can play very well

  16. Don’t forget it would be Gaither PLUS a big contract, but I still think you are correct.

  17. David Mark says:

    If Campbell has bad technique (and that’s his only problem), then I think coaching can fix that. The bigger question is how coachable is he? I haven’t heard any comments about his work ethic, attitude, maturity, etc. Maybe the Maryland OL coach didn’t do such a wonderful job. If Campbell’s okay in the head (& heart) then I say grab him if he falls anywhere near 27. He has too much upside to ignore.

  18. I see your point, but the Cowboys will probably want to find a player in the first round who will help them win in 2010. Even if Campbell’s only problem is that he needs a little coaching, he still wouldn’t help the Cowboys much next season.

  19. Craig Kocay says:

    Realistically what do you see the chances of us grabbing Gaither?

    Secondly how would you rank all of the tackles that could possibly fall to us?
    Anthony Davis (slim chance),
    Bruce Cambell
    Charles Brow

    Lastly do you think it is realistic that we would trade 10 spots up?

  20. Hey Craig,
    1. I would put the chances of the Cowboys getting Gaither at about 20%. It is unlikely because I don’t think they would yield more than their second round pick, but I am sure Baltimore will be seeking (at worst) an early 2nd-rounder. I personally would offer a 2nd and a late pick if I was in the Cowboys’ spot.

    2. I would rate those tackles Davis, Brown, and then Campbell. Davis has huge upside and can be really dominant at times. If he falls into the 20′s he might be worth a trade up. Brown is steadily moving up boards due to his athleticism. He probably wouldn’t fit well in the Cowboys’ scheme though–he is more of a West Coast/zone blocking guy. Lastly, Campbell just has a lot of bad tape. Multiple teams reportedly have a fourth round grade on him.

    3. 10 spots is pushing it, but it is possible. It really depends who falls. I think a trade up into the early 20′s is more likely (for a guy like Davis or E. Thomas).

  21. Craig Kocay says:

    JB,
    It just bothers me that Gaither seems like a for sure thing, and yet we have not pulled the trigger on this. Not only is he NFL groomed, but he just fits so perfectly (young, huge, and he has a bit of a penalty problem so that we can continue to have something to laugh at). We could start him day one, and be set.

    I have heard rumors also that if we were to grab Poucey that we could move Garode out to guard. Would it not just make more sense to put Poucey at guard?

    Lastly (and a bit of a joke), Do you think it is possible that we could trade all 6 picks this year to move up to grab Eric Berry? According to the chart we are not too far off from doing it.

  22. The main reason (IMO) that the Cowboys are hesitant on bringing in Gaither is they are unsure of how he will play once he gets paid big money. The Ravens reportedly placed a low tender on him to “wake him up,” so there may be some work ethic concerns. Still, I would give up a second-rounder (and a bit more) in a heartbeat.

    As far as Pouncey. . .you are right, he would move to guard. Not sure who said Gurode would move but that won’t happen.

    I haven’t looked at the chart to see how much value all six picks hold…where would it get the Cowboys? Could they get into the top 10? Obviously they aren’t going to trade them but just curious…

  23. Craig Kocay says:

    According to this http://www.draftcountdown.com/features/Value-Chart.php

    it looks like we are just shy.

    As silly as this is, I would call it a great draft for the cowboys if we did this.

  24. I’d rather give up just half of the draft and grab E. Thomas haha. Do you have Berry rated a lot higher than Thomas?

  25. BTW, I will be attending the Draft and doing a live blog. Not sure how I will set it up on here yet but it will probably be through Twitter so I can attempt to get the picks up before they are actually announced on TV.

  26. Omar says:

    To Martin, the reason Free didn’t get beat as often is because they had Witten helping him out against Jared Allen. Also, Jonathan, Twitter is for girls.

  27. You are right…Twitter is for girls….which is exactly why I am on it. Our blogger Amber Leigh is on Twitter….you should join up! haha In any event, if you haven’t noticed the toolbar at the bottom of the screen…on the right of it is a Twitter icon which pops us our latest Tweets. I will do my best to get in position to find out the Cowboys’ pick as soon as possible and post it on there. I will also try to get some pics of Roger Goodell’s vagina.

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  30. Derek says:

    So, almost a full year later, what is Bruce Campbell’s status? Not only did Oakland pass on Campbell at #8, they passed on him each time until the 4th round. He didn’t start one game all season, and Oakland actually drafted Jared Veldheer a full round before him, and he started at left tackle the entire season. Quite a difference between the college dorm room scouts’ first round projections and the pro scouts’ 4th round projections, eh? Looks like the pros were right.

  31. “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.”

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