2021 NFL Draft Scouting Report: Tyson Campbell

  • Tyson Campbell, 6-2/185

  • Cornerback

  • Georgia

  • Tyson Campbell Scouting Report
    By Charlie Campbell

  • Excellent height
  • Superb length
  • Good weight, strength
  • Strength to jam and reroute
  • Straight-line speed
  • Size to match up against big receivers
  • Quality instincts
  • Plays the ball well in air
  • Good feel in coverage
  • Skilled to slap passes away
  • Willing tackler
  • Physical
  • Does a good job of preventing separation
  • Good fit as a bump-and-run corner
  • Maintains correct positioning downfield
  • Contributed on special teams
  • Athletic upside

  • Weaknesses:
  • Not a serious interception threat
  • Outside corner only
  • Lacks twitch
  • Could have some change-of-directions problems
  • Not a good fit for off-man coverage

  • Summary: Georgia has produced a lot of good NFL prospects from the secondary under head coach Kirby Smart, so it illustrates how talented Campbell is to have earned playing time as a freshman in 2018. He had some inconsistencies in coverage that season, as one could expect with the jump from high school football to the SEC, which is the closest thing the NFL has to a minor league. Campbell totaled 45 tackles and a pass broken up in 2018. As a sophomore, he notched 15 tackles and four passes defended.

    Campbell became more steady in pass coverage in 2020, putting together an excellent game against Auburn and holding his own against Alabama, but he had some struggles against Florida, including some plays on which he was abused by Gators super star tight end Kyle Pitts and big receiver Trevon Grimes. After the season, Campbell decided to enter the 2021 NFL Draft.

    There is a lot to like about Campbell for the NFL, who looks like he could end up as a starter early in his pro career, especially if he is drafted into a system that plays a lot of press man. Campbell has excellent size, possessing height and length that make it very difficult to get passes around him. Campbell also has developed strength to fight off receivers and maintain good positioning for contested passes. Campbell is a physical corner who really challenges receivers. He is a tough at the line of scrimmage with strength to jam and reroute. His height and length also help him to have nice recoverability to narrow the space and close the window for completing passes.

    As a corner, Tyson has good feel, flashes some instincts, and demonstrates nice technique to stay in good position. He plays the ball well, possessing solid ball skills to slap passes away, but he was not an interception threat at Georgia, recording only one pick over three years.

    The big question with all large cornerbacks is how well they run, and Campbell has the speed to play in the NFL. He is fast in a straight line and able to turn and run with receivers. While Campbell does not have elite speed, he has enough quickness to run down the sideline and keep receivers from burning him over the top. He won’t be one of the fastest corners in the NFL, but his speed shouldn’t be a liability. Campbell does a good job coming downhill to defend perimeter runs or screens in the flat. He has a real burst to close and is aggressive to tackle. As a pro, he should be a solid run defender as long as he is motivated to get active and attack the ball-carrier.

    There are some limitations for Campbell in the NFL, and his pro defensive coordinator would be wise to have him not match up against smaller speed receivers. Campbell is not a super twitchy corner and has some change-of-direction problems. Thus, Campbell is better suited to line up on the outside against big receivers and he is not a fit to move inside to the slot. Being an outside only corner is not the end of the world, but it cuts down on his versatility for his pro defense. His lack of twitch and change-of-direction issues are common with big corners and make him a better fit as a press-man corner. He is not a great fit to play off-man coverage against pro wide receivers.

    Some team sources have graded Campbell in the second round in the 2021 NFL Draft. Multiple team contacts, however, think Campbell has a real shot at going in the back half of the first round. Some players with second-round grades go in the first round because there aren’t 32 graded first-rounders. Campbell is a top candidate to be one of those players because this is not a deep or especially talented cornerback draft. He also has upside to develop and looks reasonably safe to become a solid starting outside cornerback in the NFL.

    Player Comparison: Xavier Rhodes. Campbell reminds me of a thinner Rhodes. Rhodes (6-1, 218) is a big corner who can play press man and defend big receivers. Campbell could do that as well in the NFL. In the 2013 NFL Draft, Rhodes was a late first-round pick, and Campbell could be a late first-rounder in the 2021 NFL Draft.I think Campbell could be a pro corner similar to Rhodes after he gains some weight in a pro strength and conditioning program.


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