It’s important to look for traits at every position, but it’s especially critical for linebackers. Looking at the NFL Draft scouting report of Chance Campbell, does the Ole Miss LB have what it takes to play at the NFL level? Let’s dive in.
Chance Campbell NFL Draft Profile
- Position: Linebacker
- School: Ole Miss
- Current Year: Senior
- Height: 6’2 3/8″
- Weight: 232 pounds
- Wingspan: 74 1/8″
- Length: 31 1/4″
- Hand: 10 1/8″
Chance Campbell Scouting Report
Campbell exploded onto the scene in 2021, becoming one of the most productive players on the Ole Miss defense. Early on, his big plays left people wondering who he was. But now, there’s no disputing Campbell’s place on the NFL Draft stage.
Campbell was at the East-West Shrine Bowl in Las Vegas, and he also secured an invite to the 2022 NFL Combine, where he put up eye-opening athletic numbers. Campbell has officially arrived as an NFL Draft prospect. Now, the question is this — how high does the Ole Miss LB go?
Campbell’s athletic profile
Campbell’s tape matches with his testing. The Ole Miss LB can move. Campbell is a twitchy, energetic mover in space, and he’s an explosive athlete who gets upfield in a hurry. With his burst, he can accelerate briskly in tight spaces, explode through gaps, and surge into the backfield. He comes downhill with a ton of heat, and he can leverage his momentum into crushing force.
Not only is Campbell explosive, but he also has solid straight-line speed. He has the range to pursue plays to the sideline, and he can also turn and run with RB wheel routes. Campbell has the closing speed to contest passes in the middle of the field. Moreover, he’s an effective QB spy with his twitch, explosiveness, and range. He can negate scrambles by getting downfield before the QB is able to gain ground.
Going further, Campbell’s athleticism affords him some versatility. He called signals as a MIKE for Ole Miss, but he can also blitz off the edge and play on-ball. Beyond his athleticism, he clearly watches film and recognizes concepts.
Execution beyond the physical traits
More than anything, Campbell is an amped-up, high-motor player. He consistently plays with high energy and is urgent in pursuit. Beyond his motor, Campbell flashes proper execution as well. He can still be more consistent, as we’ll get into later. But there are glimpses of promise.
Campbell flashes great pre-snap recognition. He’s shown he can flow with plays by deciphering blocking angles. He can also use throttle control to swerve across gaps and disrupt blocking angles. Additionally, the Ole Miss LB can process leverage and attack angles fairly well. And in space, he can actively adjust his hip alignment based on route concepts.
In coverage, Campbell has visible upside. There are moments he properly follows the QB’s eyes. He’s also shown he can identify RBs sneaking out of the backfield and trigger with zeal. Campbell can seep out into the flats and blanket RBs, and he also flashes decent ball skills. He proactively extends to deflect passes at the line.
Finally, while Campbell can improve here as well, he does have the necessary frame to wrap up ball carriers as a tackler.
Areas for improvement
Unfortunately, while there are flashes, Campbell is visibly inconsistent with his processing, positioning, and angle management. These shortcomings are visible both in run and pass defense. In pass defense, Campbell’s eyes aren’t always in the right spot. He’ll miss routes occasionally, and he lacks elite instincts. He can also be easily baited by QB’s eyes, and he goes on autopilot at times.
Going further, Campbell doesn’t always anticipate routes when patrolling the middle. He can be late to react and position himself. It doesn’t help that his base can be a little uncoordinated. He sometimes slows his feet and gets flat-footed in his stance. And when he does exit his stance, he sometimes takes faulty angles to the ball, not anticipating RAC yards.
Overall, Campbell’s reaction isn’t consistently quick, and he can be late with his recognition. But the issues span beyond that. Campbell is more of a linear mover, and he’s fairly stiff-hipped when changing directions. He consistently plays too tall and upright, which hurts his momentum as a tackler. Moreover, Campbell sometimes hesitates at the contact point and is too passive wrapping up.
Among other things, Campbell isn’t overly strong or physical in congestion. He doesn’t consistently stack and shed and can be swept away by blocks. He struggles to get off blocks and disengage, though better technique may help him maximize his strength.
Campbell’s 2022 NFL Draft scouting report overview
Campbell is an athlete. That alone will grant him some security. He’s 6’2 3/8″, 232 pounds, with 4.57 speed, a 39.5-inch vertical, and a 127-inch broad jump. That, along with his high motor, will allow him to find opportunities at the next level.
Campbell is still a considerable work in progress with his instincts and positioning, but the key distinction to be made here is “consistency” vs. “capacity.” Campbell isn’t yet consistent enough to be a starting NFL linebacker, but he has shown the necessary processing capacity. He can recognize concepts and attack leverage. But he sometimes gets lost in congestion and struggles with positioning.
Linebackers play in crowded spaces a lot, and they need to be controlled and streamlined amidst chaos. Campbell isn’t quite at that point yet. His positioning is inconsistent, and even when in position, he sometimes fails to follow through on plays. His efficiency of motion can also improve, as lateral stiffness sometimes delays his responses.
Nevertheless, Campbell is an explosive, high-motor linebacker who flashes physicality, play recognition, and playmaking ability. He’s worth an investment on Day 3 as a high-upside LB with starting potential. I’d have him in a reactive, run-and-chase OLB role to start. But if he can keep honing his instincts, become more adaptable, and refine his positioning, he could be an NFL starter, either at OLB or MIKE.
Campbell’s Player Profile
Campbell’s career ended with him being one of the premier defensive playmakers in the SEC. But it started rather modestly, all things considered. Campbell was just a three-star recruit in the 2018 recruiting class. A product of Baltimore, Maryland, Campbell chose to attend his home-state program, the Maryland Terrapins.
Campbell spent the first three years of his career with the Terrapins. He steadily worked his way into a starting role and amassed 107 tackles, 10 tackles for loss, 1.5 sacks, a pick, 3 deflections, a forced fumble, a fumble recovery, and a defensive touchdown in 25 games (six starts).
Campbell eventually graduated from Maryland with an undergraduate degree in finance, and he decided to test the CFB market as a grad transfer. He eventually chose Ole Miss as his transfer portal, where he’d become a standout at LB.
Campbell’s career at Ole Miss
In his first and only year playing at Ole Miss, Campbell emerged as a defensive leader. He often took on MIKE responsibilities. He’d make calls for the defense, point out offensive formations, and get teammates in position. And along the way, he also produced plenty on his own.
Campbell played in all 13 games for the Rebels in 2021. The Ole Miss LB put together a stellar campaign, collecting 109 total tackles, 12.5 tackles for loss, 6 sacks, 2 pass deflections, 2 forced fumbles, and 3 fumble recoveries. For his strong play, Campbell earned an invite to the East-West Shrine Game — one of the top NFL Draft showcases. And there, he continued to flash his true potential.
Campbell’s NFL Draft ascension
In a fairly deep linebacker class, Campbell sometimes falls under the radar. The Ole Miss LB certainly has things to work on. But his athletic profile is incredibly exciting. His explosiveness is near-elite and it shows up as such on tape. That trait alone is a fantastic building block for his NFL career. And on top of that, he has great size and flashes the necessary processing and recognition.
Campbell can still work on being more consistent with his instincts and reaction quickness mid-play, and his positioning and angles also stand to improve. But both physically and mentally, Campbell has the traits worth investing in. Two or three years down the road, it’s entirely possible that he could be a starting MIKE for an NFL team. And at the very least, his profile projects well to special teams early on.
Tony Pauline’s scouting report for Chance Campbell
Positives: Maryland transfer coming off a terrific senior campaign. Quick to read and diagnose, remains disciplined with assignments, and breaks down well. Fires upfield, gives effort defending the run, and quickly locates the ball handler. Stacks well against the run. Shows the ability to get outside the box and chase the action. Takes proper angles to plays, wraps up tackling, and brings opponents down at the point of attack. Ran much faster than expected at the Combine and turned in some terrific testing numbers.
Negatives: Does not show speed to the flanks despite his Combine testing. Lacks quick change-of-direction skills in coverage.
Analysis: Campbell was an efficient linebacker the past two seasons, though he presented himself primarily as a two-down run defender. He displayed a lot of unexpected athleticism at the Combine. If he’s able to translate that onto the field, Campbell has the tools necessary to be a three-down defender.