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Bulldogs in the Draft: Tyson Campbell

NCAA Football: Georgia at Missouri Jay Biggerstaff-USA TODAY Sports

American Heritage High School in Plantation, Florida has been very good in recent years to Georgia as it has become pipeline of highly-rated, super productive talent, with former Georgia greats and current NFL’ers Sony Michel and Isaiah McKenzie leaving the palm tree covered vistas of Broward County, Florida to head north to God’s country. In a few days, former American Heritage alum and Georgia cornerback Tyson Campbell will be headed to the League as well. Exactly which round is subject to much debate. Our loss is some NFL team’s gain.

Campbell came to Athens as a 5-star prospect and was part of the same defensive backfield at American Heritage with another 5-star recruit, Patrick Surtain II. In fact, Surtain II and Campbell were the #1 and #2 ranked recruits at their position for the 2018 cycle. Campbell was thrown into the fire immediately upon his arrival to Georgia in the fall of 2018 and had an expected adjustment period while during his freshman season. By the time the curtain fell upon the Pandemic-altered 2020 season, Campbell’s experience and skills began to shine to the point where he felt comfortable enough to forego his senior season and declare.

According to 247Sports, Campbell “started 23 games for the Dawgs, with 89 career tackles, 3.5 tackles for loss, one interception, 11 pass breakups, one forced fumble, and three fumble recoveries, two of which he returned for a touchdown. He had 29 tackles, 2.5 tackles for loss, five pass breakups, one quarterback hurry, and one interception last season.”

Campbell could get a first round bump because of the annual demand for defensive backfield talent. He certainly has the prerequisite size at 6’ 2” and 190 lbs. Tyson is a physical tackler and possesses excellent speed. The League loves big, physical cornerbacks and Campbell is both.

The knock on him is that he sometimes gets lost late in coverage and he only had a single career interception at Georgia, although he returned 2 recovered fumbles for touchdowns during his time in Athens.

Too often Campbell allows a receiver to separate and complete the catch because he isn’t aware of what the receiver is doing until it’s too late. There are multiple examples on tape but a few stood out to me. -

There is no question that Campbell is still a bit raw and a final season in college certainly would have helped him hone his overall skill set. However, he received enough high grades to convince him to make the jump, with his stock generally falling in the late 2nd to mid-3rd round. His potential is high, but it may take a couple of seasons to become a starter.

NCAA Football: Auburn at Georgia
Campbell helped to shut down Auburn’s Seth Williams last October.

Where will he ultimately land? ESPN has Campbell as a 3rd round pick at #74, NFL’s draft website has Tyson as the 56th overall pick in the 2nd round, Profootballnetwork is predicting a 2nd round pick at 43rd overall just to name a few. One database has a composite average for Campbell at the 59th overall pick in the 2nd round.

This will be interesting to follow as Campbell’s star has been rising over the course of the last few days. Although he’s probably going to have to wait until Friday (rounds 2-3) to find out his destiny, it wouldn’t be totally inconceivable for someone to take him off the board on Thursday night. Stranger things have happened during this strangest of sports rituals.

As Always, GO DAWGS!