Separation Quickness - Elite level burst and ability to separate with quickness. Drops his hips and can change direction without losing much speed. Athletic traits were always elite in this area, added polish helped them come alive last season.
Ball Skills - He will drop some easy ones, but hands improved a lot last season and he became more reliable. Vast majority of his receptions are short-intermediate routine grabs, rarely asked to go outside his frame and make tough plays on the ball. Catch radius is limited. Despite his speed, wasn’t a vertical threat in Ohio State’s offense so projecting him as a ball tracker over his head is anyone’s guess.
Speed/Burst - Elite long speed but was rarely utilized as a vertical threat. Almost exclusively a slot receiver and hardly made any plays over the top of the defense from that position. Was asked to run slot fades a decent amount, but almost always saw double teams or the pass was way off the mark. Doesn’t have the one-step acceleration of a guy like Mecole Hardman, but second gear when he gets going destroys pursuit angles. You don’t think he’s that fast at first and then he just keeps getting faster.
Route-Running - Much-improved route runner who got open consistently short-intermediate. Good hip snap to break off patterns at the top and separate. Sits down vs zone coverage and knows where the space is. Keeps moving against man or in scramble drills to uncover. Explosive pivot route is his most impressive pattern. Not heavily utilized as a vertical receiver, but was asked to run downfield routes, so his tree is fairly well-established. Can get slowed considerably by contact at the top of his routes and needs to keep improving his hand usage to separate. Draws flags with his quick change of direction though. Needs to run every route at full speed. Saw a lot of zone coverage and there will be details to his route-running that need to improve vs man.
Contested Catch - Hangs on through big post-catch hits for the most part, but that’s about all I got here. Simply isn’t asked to make contested catches in Ohio State’s offense. Good at achieving separation when he does face man coverage, so this isn’t a big concern. Can get up for the ball, but lack of size, length, strength and experience in this area will likely always limit him to some degree in the NFL.
YAC - Athletic traits and elusiveness are impressive. Can work through some glancing blows, but most direct tackle attempts are taking him down. Vision and decisiveness are big positives. Long speed to house call the short stuff if he gets a crease.
Releases - Almost never saw press coverage working from the slot, so a real projection in that area. Few times he did, he won quickly. Can be more detailed in selling vertically off the snap, keeping low pads and accelerating sooner to open up windows underneath. Moving him outside to more press is a big projection.
Blocking - Solid blocker despite not being the biggest receiver. Doesn’t create movement, but is technical enough to get in the way and compete with bigger defenders. Buckeyes even moved him to a wing for backside seal blocks on occasion. Can get caught reaching to push defenders rather than moving his feet.
Competitive Toughness - Elite competitor who was heralded as a leader in Ohio State’s locker room. Voted team captain. Effort and intensity are always cranked up. Smart player who will bring strong football intelligence to an organization.
Athleticism/Size - Solid size, improved strength and build and elite athleticism. One of the most well-rounded athletes in the entire draft class at any position.
BEST TRAIT - Speed/Space Ability
WORST TRAIT - Contested Catch
RED FLAGS - None
A gadget player for much of his time at Ohio State, Campbell finally blossomed into a legitimate wide receiver prospect in 2018, running improved routes and showing off the separation quickness that suggests a decent ceiling.
His best trait is his speed and athleticism, but he was rarely used as a vertical threat at Ohio State, operating mostly-short intermediate with the occasional downfield target. Whatever NFL team that drafts him will need to have a little bit of a plan for how to use him best, but Campbell is clearly more than just a specialized package player at this point. His best usage will come in the slot for an offense that likes a multi-layered threat there, while a move to the outside could take some time to develop. Round 1 hype is too much, but Campbell can help a team if his value is assessed correctly.
Round Grade: 3rd