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NFL Draft

What Tyson Campbell Has To Prove To Meet Potential

  • The Draft Network
  • September 25, 2020
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Tyson Campbell is a true junior cornerback at the University of Georgia. He arrived at Georgia with high expectations as a 5-star recruit and the No. 2 Cornerback in the nation. While at American Heritage High School, Campbell played across from the No. 1 Cornerback in the nation, Patrick Surtain II, and was coached by former three-time Pro Bowler and All-Pro, Patrick Surtain Sr. 

After being coached and molded by someone who played the position at the highest level, many projected Campbell's college career trajectory would be very similar to Surtain II’s, who is in contention to be the first cornerback taken in the 2021 NFL Draft. However, Campbell's college career hasn’t gone as expected. 

Campbell started 11 of 14 games as a true freshman but only had one pass breakup on the season. As a sophomore he started the first three games but was sidelined the following five games with a turf toe. When he returned from injury, he didn’t take the starting role back from DJ Daniel. 

Watching Campbell's tape, you’re impressed with the length and the speed. However, it also leaves you frustrated because he doesn’t make a lot of plays. “Potential” is the word you’ll hear most evaluators use when describing Campbell as a player. However, as the saying goes, “potential only means that you haven’t accomplished what you’re capable of.” This couldn’t be more accurate when it comes to the young corner. 

Campbell has NFL length, agility, and speed while playing a premium position that general managers covet. Cornerbacks who can meet the physical challenges that bigger receivers present, while also being able to run with the fast “race-cars” in the NFL are valuable commodities. Campbell has shown that he can open his hips and run upfield. He’s also displayed the ability to transition and close in off-man coverage, which is often a struggle for leggy, high-cut cornerbacks. He will likely have more value in press coverage both in zone and in man coverage situations. His instincts are good and he appears to have a good understanding of zone coverage. However, the biggest factor for him is can he stay healthy? And when he is healthy, can he consistently make plays in the passing game?

So Tyson Campbell, if you’re reading this, consider this a challenge. Prove it! Prove that you can mature enough to generate a level of production that matches your athletic potential. Prove that you can stay healthy and that your availability will no longer be a concern. Prove that you can close separation with more urgency, get your hands on the football, and make some plays in the passing game. Demonstrate the ability to play outside and even “money” linebacker in sub-package situations. Prove that your potential isn’t a far-fetched projection and that you can actually grow into the player many believe you can be.

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