LB De'Vondre Campbell: Drafted
Round 4, 115th overall
Team: Atlanta Falcons
Position: Outside Linebacker
Hometown: Fort Myers, Fla.
JUCO: Hutchinson Community College
No. 17 outside linebacker in the draft
No. 204 overall prospect
Minnesota Career: Campbell played three years at Minnesota and started 27 games and played in 39. The 6-5, 239-pound linebacker from Fort Myers, Fla., made 208 career tackles, which included 129 solo stops. Campbell also tallied 16 career tackles-for-loss and 6.5 sacks, while recovering three fumbles and forcing two fumbles. Campbell also notched two career interceptions, one of which he returned 30 yards for a touchdown at Michigan in 2014.
As a senior, Campbell led the team in sacks with 4.0 and finished third in tackles (92) and solo tackles (53). He also tallied 6.5 tackles-for-loss, broke up three passes, made one interception and forced one fumble. Campbell was named All-Big Ten Honorable Mention as a senior by both conference coaches and media.
He said it: Lance Zierlein (NFL.com)
Wiry and strong, Campbell is just scratching the surface of his potential. Though you'd expect a linebacker of that size to be purely a pass rusher, the Hutchinson Community College transfer moves better than expected in the open field. After a solid sophomore (three starts in 13 games played, 41 tackles, three for loss) season for the Gophers, he earned a starting role as a junior (75 tackles, 6.5 for loss, 2.5 sacks). Campbell lived up to his billing in 2015, named by Big Ten coaches and media honorable mention all-conference as he made 92 tackles, 6.5 for loss, and a team-high four sacks.
STRENGTHS NFL-caliber athleticism. Looks the part on the hoof with thickness through bubble and thighs with tapered calves. Has the quick-twitch to respond suddenly and explode towards the ball. Possesses quality chase speed to close down running backs looking to turn the corner, but runs under control. Uses length for expanded tackle radius. Plays with ready hands and often strikes first blow against blockers while looking to shed. Has played in the middle and outside. Looks like he has some edge-setting qualities. Uses arm over move effectively as blitzer. Flashes some pop behind his pads and has the combination of speed and length to restrict backside cutback lanes.
BOTTOM LINE Campbell has an Academic All-Big Ten under his belt, but the classroom smarts don?t always translate into onfield instincts for the linebacker. While Campbell has terrific size and NFL-caliber athleticism, his inability to consistently perform his assignments as a second level linebacker could make him a project.
Prospect Evaluation (CBS Sports)
Campbell is a well-built athlete who showed the ability to be a tackling machine at Minnesota. He finished third on the team with 92 tackles as a senior, including 6.5 tackles for loss and a team-best 4.0 sacks while starting 11 of 13 games.
He was named Honorable Mention All-Big Ten by the conference coaches and media, and earned an invitation to the Shrine Game.
It was a successful final campaign for Campbell, was asked to step up as a senior with Damien Wilson and Cedric Thompson off to the NFL Campbell was the team's top returning tackler from 2014 after finishing with 75 tackles, 6.5 tackles for loss, 2.5 sacks, three fumble recoveries and one interception.
He arrived in Minneapolis in 2013 after two seasons at a community college, becoming a starter as a junior. Campbell said coming out of Hutchinson (Kan.) Community College, he chose Minnesota over Texas and Kansas State because of the honest of then-Gophers coach Jerry Kill.
"He has the physical numbers and that to give him a chance to play in the NFL," Gophers coach Tracy Claeys told twincities.com in December. "I look forward for him to get the chance to compete in the all-star games, and I think we will see him on Sundays."
STRENGTHS: Looks the part in pads with near defensive end size, but he is a coordinated athlete on his feet, playing comfortable in space. He has smooth body control and flexible ankles with the read/react instincts to break quickly on the ball. Never lets up with consistent hustle through the whistle each snap.
Campbell settled in with more reps and started to play with less hesitation and more urgency throughout the week of practices at the Shrine Game, showing improvement from practice to practice.