Detroit Lions Draft Jack Campbell, A Linebacker with Flair


“Detroit Lions Draft Jack Campbell, A Linebacker with Flair”

With the 18th pick in the 2023 NFL Draft, the Detroit Lions select:

Jack Campbell, LB, Iowa

The Detroit Lions fortified their defense by selecting Jack Campbell, a talented linebacker from the University of Iowa, in the 2023 NFL Draft. Standing at 6-5 and weighing 249 pounds, Campbell boasts a 4.65 40-yard dash time, a 37.5-inch vertical, and a 10-foot-8-inch broad jump.

Campbell’s Dynamic Fit with the Lions

Campbell is expected to add depth and talent to the Lions’ defense, according to defensive coordinator Aaron Glenn. With the recent re-signing of captain and MIKE linebacker Alex Anzalone, and the emergence of young linebackers Malcolm Rodriguez and Derrick Barnes, Campbell’s athleticism and skills will contribute to an even more competitive team dynamic.

Jack of All Trades and Master of Defense

Campbell’s impressive athletic background extends beyond football, as he could have played Division 1 basketball. Ranking first among all linebackers at the Combine with an 89 NextGen athleticism score, he won the Dick Butkus Award as the nation’s top linebacker. He was named Big Ten Conference Defensive Player of the Year after his second consecutive 100-tackle season (128). Campbell’s ability to defend in space is evident in his 10 passes defended and five interceptions over the last three years.

A Pro Football Focus Standout

Pro Football Focus rates Campbell as the fourth-highest graded linebacker entering the draft since 2016, trailing only Reuben Foster, Roquan Smith, and Nakobe Dean. Additionally, Campbell’s 6.74-second three-cone drill ranks him among the top eight inside linebackers of all time, with only one heavier linebacker surpassing his performance. He also finished first in the three-cone and the 20-yard shuttle among linebackers at the Combine, while taking second place in the broad jump and vertical leap.

Campbell’s Take on Linebacker Fundamentals

“I feel like non-negotiables at linebacker are your eyes and your feet,” Campbell shared at the Combine. “It starts right there. It’s simple stuff. A lot of people kind of overlook it and take it to a new level. That I don’t think you need to take it to. I think you have to stay true to yourself and your fundamentals and then the mental aspect.”

Acknowledging the importance of the mental aspect, Campbell credits the University of Iowa’s pro-level system and head coach Kirk Ferentz for preparing him to take his game to the next level in the NFL.


For more from our Detroit Lions beat writer, Matt Broder, check him out on Twitter here: @mattbro21

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