Jack Campbell, LB, Iowa | NFL Draft Scouting Report

Jack Campbell, LB, Iowa | NFL Draft Scouting Report

Iowa LB Jack Campbell was one of the most productive defenders in college football over the past two seasons. And now, he’s one of the premier linebacker prospects in the 2023 NFL Draft, with a scouting report that should entice NFL teams.

Jack Campbell NFL Draft Profile

  • Position: Linebacker
  • School: Iowa
  • Current Year: Senior
  • Height/Weight: 6’5″, 246 pounds
  • Length: TBD
  • Wingspan: TBD
  • Hand: TBD

Ask around Iowa, and you’ll hear nothing bad about Campbell. For some prospects, it’s a blanket of familiarity. But with Campbell, it’s clear that the appreciation for him and what he’s done for the Hawkeyes’ program is genuine.

The Hawkeyes make a habit of finding diamonds in the rough in the recruiting cycle, and there’s no doubt now that Campbell was one such find. A three-star recruit in 2019 and a two-year team captain in high school, Campbell came to Iowa as an unheralded player and left as an undeniable star.

After easing into a progressively greater role through 2019 and 2020, Campbell emerged as a high-level starter in 2021, amassing 140 total tackles, 3.5 tackles for loss, a sack, two picks, and six pass deflections in fourteen games of action. A year later, Campbell added 125 more tackles, 5.5 more TFLs, and two more picks, this time earning the Butkus Award as the top linebacker in college football.

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For Campbell, the numbers are mere resultants of the merger of high-level talent and high-level character. He wasn’t just the most productive LB in the Big Ten. He was a sophomore Leadership Group member, a Player Council member in his final two seasons, and anointed a permanent defensive captain.

“Everything he looks at and sees is opportunity,” Iowa head coach Kirk Ferentz said of Campbell in a December press conference. “He’s extremely humble and appreciative. You coach a guy like that — with all due respect to our defensive staff — you coach a guy like that, it ain’t hard, right? H’s an unbelievable young guy.”

Campbell made a career out of capitalizing on opportunities at Iowa. And now his greatest opportunity lies ahead of him: The 2023 NFL Draft.

Jack Campbell Scouting Report


  • Extremely well-built linebacker with rare size and a stout base to combat blocks.
  • Flashes great explosiveness and closing burst at his size, accelerating with energy.
  • Shows glimpses of snappy corrective footwork and short-area twitch in congestion.
  • Has great sideline-to-sideline range with fleet-footed acceleration and stride lengths.
  • Adept processor with a high football IQ against blocks and superb reaction quickness.
  • Gap-sound defender who routinely clogs lanes and uses his size to wall off blockers.
  • Can anticipate crossing routes in coverage, passing off and carrying receivers in zone.
  • Has shown he has the burst and stop-and-start ability to match routes in space.
  • Strong, physical tackler who barrels into opponents with momentum and wraps up.
  • Extremely high-energy competitor who brings maximum effort on every down.

Areas for Improvement

  • Size comes at the cost of hip fluidity, which can impact his recovery quickness in space.
  • Isn’t always able to squeeze through tight gaps and maintain pursuit at his size
  • Can occasionally be baited into drifting out of position by motions and option plays.
  • Can be overaggressive, allowing himself to be sealed off on the backside of runs.
  • Sometimes vacates outside lanes prematurely and engages blockers, clearing space.
  • Lacks elite upper-body strength and sometimes delays in deconstructing blocks.
  • Proportional length is middling, which can inhibit his ability to break away from linemen.
  • Average pass-rushing threat whose tendency to divert upright nullifies his base often.

Iowa LB Jack Campbell Current Draft Projection

Campbell isn’t always a household name in the 2023 NFL Draft LB class, but he grades out as a fringe top-50 prospect on my board. He’s a worthy early-to-mid Day 2 prospect, a top-five player at his position, and a defender who’s tailor-made for the MIKE role in the NFL.

Just as teams bank on upside, they also find themselves partial to guaranteed reliability on other occasions. There are few prospects, regardless of position, more reliable than Campbell in the 2023 NFL Draft.

It’s worth noting that Campbell has solid athleticism and towering size at 6’5 “, 246 pounds, with the closing burst, range, and corrective agility to manage space and make plays. But even with his physical traits, the banner traits on Campbell’s profile are his instincts, football IQ, physicality, and finishing ability as a tackler.

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As big as he is, Campbell does experience lapses with fluidity at times, which puts a slight cap on his ceiling. He’s also not an overwhelming pass-rushing threat. But Campbell is one of the most well-rounded LBs this cycle, with arguably the highest floor in his group.

With his combination of size, athleticism, play recognition, gap discipline, coverage ability, and playmaking range, Campbell can be a high-quality starter on an NFL defense for a decade. But not only that — he also has a place as a defensive leader waiting for him, with his character and active communication.