Jack Campbell is not a flashy linebacker prospect, but he is one of the best in the 2023 NFL Draft. The leader for the Iowa defense is headed to the NFL and hopes to make the same impact on Sundays.
Name: Jack Campbell
Age: 22 (Aug. 22, 2000)
Weight: 246 pounds*
Jack Campbell 2023 NFL Draft Scouting Report
Jack Campbell is an Iowa boy from day one. The Cedar Falls native grew up there his entire life and became one of the most decorated athletes in his high school’s history.
Campbell earned letters in football, basketball, and track. He was a team captain on the gridiron and played a key role in winning a basketball state championship during his time with the school. Furthermore, Campbell was a member of the honor roll all four years.
After a legendary high school career, Campbell chose to stay in the only state he’s ever known. The star linebacker committed to the Iowa Hawkeyes for the 2019 season. Years one and two on campus saw Campbell play sparingly, but that changed in 2021.
Campbell became the full-time starter and made the most of it. In two seasons as a starter, Campbell started 27 games en route to several accolades. The list of accomplishments in 2021 and 2022 includes:
•2x First Team All-Big Ten
•William V. Campbell Trophy
Following up on a sparkling high school and college career, Jack Campbell entered his name into the 2023 NFL Draft. Is the Iowa linebacker the best in the class at his position? Let’s take a look at this detailed scouting report to find out.
•Elite Tackler – One area where Jack Campbell stands out is as a tackler. He boasts impeccable form and is never shy to lay down a massive hit. Whether it be stuffing the gap vs. a running back or pursuing a pass catcher, Campbell will find them and stop them in their tracks.
•Natural Instincts – What Campbell lacks in athleticism, he more than makes up for in football IQ. He has a nose for the football and a knack for always being in the right place at the right time. Campbell diagnoses the play pre-snap and reacts early to secure a stop.
•Versatility – The Iowa alum flexes elite potential as a coverage defender. Campbell was graded as the best coverage linebacker in 2022 via PFF (min. 100 snaps played). He shows the ability to stick with assignments and cover zones on the field. Campbell also ranked in the top 20 in run defense grade via PFF (min. 100 snaps played).
•Motor – My favorite part of Campbell’s game is his relentless motor. I watched hundreds of snaps, and never once did Campbell give up before the whistle. This mentality will win over an NFL locker room in short order; everyone respects a hard worker.
•Experience – Campbell did not play much in his first two seasons on campus, but once he saw starting reps, he never turned back. Campbell was on the field virtually every snap in 2021 and 2022, giving scouts an ample amount of tape to analyze. He served as the centerpiece of an under-appreciated Hawkeye defense.
•Top-Tier Athleticism – Jack Campbell is athletic enough but fails to check the boxes in ways that other linebackers do. He is not particularly fast and would never be described as shifty. Against bigger assignments, Campbell should be fine, but against more fleet-footed players from the slot, issues could arise.
•Range – This goes hand-in-hand with the prior section but needs mentioning. Campbell covers the field well, but when tasked with defending field stretchers, he lacks the range to affect passes deep downfield. Recovery speed makes up for it in college, but there is far less margin for error on Sundays.
•Stiff Movements – Campbell can look clunky at times on tape. He is a bit stiff when changing direction and this costs him a chance at a tackle. Some NFL coaching can help smooth out these rough edges, but it will be a cause for concern with Campbell in year one.
2023 NFL Draft Grade
•Fringe-Day One (LB1 on my Big Board)
Jack Campbell is my No. 1 rated linebacker in the 2023 NFL Draft. He is the most NFL-ready player at the position and should slot in as a starter as a rookie. Campbell will put up some gaudy stats in year one, making him an early favorite for Defensive Rookie of the Year.
Games Evaluated: 13