Heading into the 2010 NFL combine, many people said Bruce Campbell was the fifth best talent at OT in the draft this year. Coming out of the combine, the Oakland Raiders, and more specifically Al Davis, could consider him the best raw talent of this year's offensive line class.
The 6’6”, 314 pound lineman from Maryland is making a case at the combine to prove that he is a better athlete than the other lineman at the Indianapolis complex this week.
Campbell benched the standard bench press weight of 225 lbs. 34 times, had an outstanding broad jump, and a great vertical jump. Then he followed up that performance with the fastest forty times (4.78) ever run by an offensive lineman…ever. His height, weight, and speed combination in correlation with his 36.5 inch arms and his potential are making Al Davis drool as we speak.
Campbell was previously expected by most people to be a mid-to-late first round draft pick. He went to school at Maryland…is this starting to sound like déjà-vu a little bit to anyone?
Last year, Al Davis adored Darrius Heyward-Bey’s height, weight, and speed combination so much that he didn’t even trade down in the draft despite the fact that almost everyone expected Bey to fall to the late first round, and possibly even into the second round if the Raiders did not draft him.
But Campbell is a different animal...kind of. One scout at the combine said, “He has the best body of anyone I’ve ever seen.” Campbell is a junior, so of course he has not fully matured at the position yet. The Raiders do not have a receivers coach turned head coach; they have an offensive line coach turned head coach. There is a coach available who is widely considered to be one of the best offensive line coaches in the league to tutor him and help him develop.
Campbell won the “Top Performer of Day One Award” at the combine, and NFL Network analyst Mike Mayock said, “If there is a star of the combine so far it’s him. What he is going to have to overcome is the tape.” Mayock added, “He is the best looking offensive tackle I’ve ever seen in my entire life. Given upside…potential…he’s only started 17 games in his entire collegiate career.”
A small downside may be that Campbell has a brain disorder called Arnold-Chiari. It is a disorder where some areas of the brain form abnormally. Evidently, Campbell underwent a surgery in high school to minimize any abnormalities that might occur, and he is not worried about it. He said, “My medical test went well. I had surgery in high school that a lot of doctors kind of didn’t have enough information on so they wanted me to get a lot of MRI testing and things like that, but I feel great.”
NFL.com senior analyst Pat Kirwan wrote:
"Maryland's Bruce Campbell looks like he was chipped out of a rock. He's the leanest 314-pound man I've ever seen and passed the "eyeball test." The combine has a long history of capturing the imagination of coaches and GMs, filling their heads with potential rather than production, and Campbell looks like the poster child."
Kirwan suggested that someone who already has an established left tackle with a few years left in his tank would be smart to draft Campbell and let him develop his skills at the next level.
Trust me, the more I’ve read about the guy, the more he looks like a first round AL Davis pick. I know the Raiders don’t have an established left tackle, but to select Campbell for his height, weight, speed, and upside is classic Al Davis. If Oakland makes a move for an offensive lineman in the first round it will most likely be Bruce Campbell, the junior from Maryland.
NFL.com senior Columnist Vic Carriucci wrote:
"He might very well be the most talented athlete among the offensive linemen. Had it not been for some nagging injuries and inconsistency during his collegiate career, Campbell could be the undisputed best of the crop. He has the necessary footwork to consistently hold his own with faster edge rushers and is helped greatly by 36 ¼-inch arms."
Let’s just hope that the organization realizes that they will probably be able to get Campbell outside of the top ten if they decide to trade down. To add to this theory, this draft class is considered to be very deep in talent, so it would not hurt to have extra picks this year.
Another option the Raiders should consider is moving up the board if one of the two top defensive tackles should happen to fall past pick three or four. Ndamukong Suh (Nebraska) and Gerald McCoy (Oklahoma) are widely considered to be the best two players in the draft.
Bruce Campbell on NFL Network set: http://www.nfl.com/videos/nfl-combine/09000d5d816a0c34/Bruce-Campbell-on-set
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