Photo of Calais Campbell
Grade
?
  • 6'8" Height
  • 282LBS. Weight

Overview

The tallest defensive lineman to suit up for the Hurricanes, Campbell was regarded as the premier defensive end in college football entering the 2007 season. The Hurricanes' defense struggled, as did Campbell, and the team lost six of their final seven games.

Campbell produced pedestrian numbers rather than dominating the action in the trenches as expected.

Originally recruited as a tight end because of his athletic ability, Campbell took over starting duties on the right side of the defensive line as a sophomore. He put together a streak of seven consecutive games with at least one quarterback sack as a junior, the second-longest streak in school history. His 10 1/2 sacks in 2006 were the most by a Hurricane since Derrick Ham posted 12 sacks in 1998 and it ranks tied for eighth on the school's season-record list.

Campbell comes from a family with deep roots in football. His younger brother, Jared, is a 2007 recruit at Miami and his older brother, Ciare was a defensive back at Colorado State (2004-05). Another brother (Raj) played football at Butte and Orange County Junior Colleges and is presently a receiver at Adams State.

At Denver's South High School, Campbell was a standout rush end and tight end. He was rated the 11th-best football player in the country by Super Prep, earning All-American and Elite 50 honors from that recruiting service. Super Prep also rated him the second-best prospect in the state of Colorado, awarding him Midlands Defensive Player of the Year accolades in 2003.

Campbell was listed on Tom Lemming's Prep Football Report National Top 100 and ranked as the nation's 11th-best defensive end. The two-time All-State pick as a junior and senior, he also played offensive tackle as a sophomore and tight end his final two years. He set a state career-record with 58 sacks during his four-year career, including 38 over his final two seasons.

As a senior, Campbell registered 19 sacks 118 total tackles, three knockdowns and two interceptions. On offense, he had 38 receptions for 412 yards with four touchdowns, including 68- and 72-yarders on tight end screens. As a junior, he posted 19 sacks, 109 tackles and five touchdowns off blocked kicks and fumble returns, in addition to blocking three punts, adding three receptions for 56 yards.

Campbell was an accomplished all-around athlete who was an All-State basketball choice as a junior (the only non-senior chosen) in 2002-03. He averaged 22.7 points (fourth-best in Colorado) and led the state in rebounding (16.0 per game) and blocked shots (3.3 per game) as a junior. He also competed in track and field, qualifying for the state meet in the discus and shot put in 2003. His track and field personal bests included 21 feet in the long jump, 48-feet-1 in the shot put, 135-0 in the discus, and 44-2 in the triple-jump.

Campbell enrolled at Miami in 2004, declining offers from Colorado State, Nebraska, Louisiana State, Michigan and Oklahoma. He spent his first season on the scout team and was a reserve right defensive end in 2005, playing in 11 games. He started vs. Louisiana State in the Peach Bowl, finishing the campaign with 24 tackles (15 solo), 2 1/2 sacks, six stops for losses and eight quarterback pressures.

As a sophomore, Campbell earned team MVP honors, in addition to picking up first-team All-Atlantic Coast Conference recognition. He took over right defensive end duties, leading the team and ranking seventh nationally with 20 1/2 stops behind the line of scrimmage, as he finished 15th in the nation with 10 1/2 sacks. He posted 55 tackles (38 solo) with 17 pressures and caused three fumbles while deflecting four passes.

A preseason All-American and favorite to win the Ted Hendricks Award (nation's top defensive end), Campbell fared no better than the Hurricanes. Miami got off to a 4-1 start under new head coach Randy Shannon, as the right defensive end registered 25 tackles (16 solos) with 4 1/2 sacks, seven stops for losses, three pressures, two forced fumbles, two fumble recoveries and an interception during that span.

However, in the team's final seven contests, he delivered just 25 tackles (14 solos), 1 1/2 sacks, 5 1/2 stops behind the line of scrimmage and two pressures. He was an honorable mention All-Atlantic Coast Conference pick, as he ended the year with six sacks, 12 1/2 stops for losses and 50 tackles (30 solo).

At the end of his junior campaign, Campbell decided it was time to test his skills in the National Football League and declared for the 2008 draft.

In 36 games at Miami, Campbell started 25 contests. He finished his career with 158 tackles (83 solos), 19 1/2 sacks for minus-119 yards, 39 stops for losses of 146 yards and 30 quarterback pressures. He caused six fumbles, recovered three others and also deflected nine passes. He had a 1-yard interception return and caught a pass for five yards.

Analysis

Strengths

Positives: Has a strong, well-defined and muscular frame and is an amazing physical specimen with a long wingspan, thick calves, a muscular build and cat-like quickness...An explosive and fluid athlete in pursuit, showing the range to generate speed long distance...Has a sudden burst off the edge to slip past a slow offensive tackle, but needs to be more active with his hands fending off low blocks...Plays with leverage, doing a nice job of dropping his shoulder and turn the corner, as he is very light on his feet...Has decent change-of-direction agility and shows good second effort getting back to the action when he outruns the ball...Willing to do the little extras to get better and has no problem taking plays from the chalkboard to the playing field...Shows impressive football instincts and plays with a high motor, demonstrating an explosive natural initial burst that will surprise the offensive lineman...Has above-average playing strength for his position, showing excellent leg drive and strong rip-and-swim moves in one-on-one combat (must keep them active fending double teams)...Strong run defender who plays with leverage and good knee bend but, when he gets tall in his stance, he can be ridden off the snap...Has the explosive initial step to defeat combo blocks, when he uses his hands to fend them off and is a disruptive penetrating...Can ride blocks and move laterally...Hustles in pursuit and quickly recognizes blocking schemes, showing good urgency to attack the crease...Gets up in a hurry when knocked down and has that high motor needed to be relentless in pursuit, especially on the back side...Can sink and run the horn to flush the quarterback out of the pocket, as he will usually stay active until the whistle...Can shed and pursue instantly, crashing into ball carriers to wrap and secure...When he plays at a low pad level, he is quick to get his hands into the blocker's chest...Needs to be quicker using his hands to escape from the low blocks, but works fluidly back towards the ball...When he keeps his hands inside the frame of his body, he can deliver a solid hand slap, coupled with a fluid swim move to shed and close on the passer...Gets upfield quickly and has a sudden burst as a pass rusher off the edge....Must improve his anchor to neutralize double teams, but is able to stack and hold his ground when he drops his weight and plants his foot into the ground...Shows good explosion and wrap-up technique to stop the ballcarrier's progress and is a physical striker who makes his presence felt upon arrival...Effective at stringing out the running plays and redirecting vs. outside action...Has a quick swim move and shows enough of a hand punch to defeat blocks and pressure the pocket...Can close on the quarterback with an extra surge and when he uses his hands with authority to jolt, he can control the point of attack...Has learned how to use his long arms to create separation, stuff and shed, as he has the feet to adjust to movement. Negatives: More suited to play the edge, as he had problems defeating the combo blocks when forced to play in-line, as he struggles to sink his weight and keep his pads down, causing problems for him protecting his feet vs. low blocks...Must learn to protect his legs, as he leaves his lower body exposed too often...Physical player, but he sometimes spends too much time trying to overpower the blocker when he should be slipping off the block to make plays in pursuit...Has good lateral agility, but when he plays too tall in his stance, he takes time redirecting when trying to close on the quarterback...Needs to show better recognition ability, as he will bite on pumps and fakes...Has to do a better job of keeping blockers out of his chest, as he sometimes gets too upright in his stance, allowing the opponent to leverage against him...Could use more lower-body strength, as he can be ridden wide at the point of attack...Frustration late in games will see him over-pursue. Compares To: JULIUS PEPPERS-Carolina...Campbell is the same type of player. He has the long reach and good explosion off the ball to demand constant double-team activity in attempts to block him. The losses seemed to wear on him late in his junior year and while 2007 could be labeled as a disappointment for both him and the entire team, he has that rare-sized frame with great athletic talent to be an impact player in the right scheme. He is best when on the move rather than battling in-line for position and, unlike Jaguars' DT John Henderson, a former college defensive end, he does not show the blow-up strength needed to take on multiple blockers as a tackle. He has the frame to get even bigger and stronger. While his size is an asset in certain areas, he does not always keep his pad level down and could be washed out by a strong double team. If his evaluation was based solely on 2006, rather than a less-than-stellar second half of 2007, he will be one of the first defensive ends on every team's draft board.
C
Grade Title
9.00-10 Once-in-lifetime player
8.00-8.99 Perennial All-Pro
7.50-7.99 Future All-Pro
7.00-7.49 Pro Bowl-caliber player
6.50-6.99 Chance to become Pro Bowl-caliber player
6.00-6.49 Should become instant starter
5.50-5.99 Chance to become NFL starter
5.20-5.49 NFL backup or special teams potential
5.01-5.19 Better-than-average chance to make NFL roster
5.00 50-50 Chance to make NFL roster
4.75-4.99 Should be in an NFL training camp
4.50-4.74 Chance to be in an NFL training camp
No Grade Likely needs time in developmental league.
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