Ibraheim Campbell Player Evaluation

Scout's Dave-Te Thomas breaks down Northwestern safety Ibraheim Campbell.

The youngest of four brothers to play college football, the 2011 Freshman All-American has excelled in each of his first three seasons with the Wildcats, but his final campaign saw the hard-hitting tackler spend four games on the sidelines with a nagging hamstring injury. He made his college debut with a career-high 100 tackles, picking off two passes while breaking four others. That was followed by a sophomore season that saw the free safety produce 89 tackles and lead the team with 12 pass deflections, the seventh-best season total in school history.

Ibraheim Campbell then registered 74 tackles and four interceptions in 2013 while manning the strong safety slot. He started the team’s first four and final four contests in 2014, missing four others with the hamstring issues, as he finished the year with 54 tackles and three interceptions. He is ranked 24th among active players with 316 total tackles, is 15th with 192 solo hits and 22nd with 35 passes defended (11 interceptions, 24 break-ups).

Campbell has loose hips and good change of direction agility. He is quicker than he is fast, as he doesn’t show that sudden burst to explode into the backfield, despite his impressive timed speed, but he runs with a normal stride and builds to top speed nicely. He has the range and lateral movements to redirect and plays with a high motor. He shows very good balance closing on the ball and uses his upper body strength effectively to impede the tight end’s route progression.

Campbell shows good field vision and urgency keeping plays in front of him. Once he locates the ball, he is quick to accelerate to the action. It is rare to see him caught out of position. He understands route progression well and takes proper angles to close.

Campbell has some experience in man coverage, but is not used much in this area. He shows good acceleration in and out of his breaks with good press technique, but is better covering the tight ends and slot receivers than covering the opponent in deep routes (bites on play action), as he tends to leave too much cushion.

The Wildcat can quickly react and cover ground to make the plays. His range lets him close with good urgency, playing with better consistency in the deep centerfield. He is much more active in the short zone because of his ability to read the action in front of him. His vision lets him spot the secondary targets and he has developed better break-off vs. the three-step throws. He just needs to remain consistent in getting over quicker to offer deep help.

Campbell has smooth foot movement in his backpedal and it is rare to see him get up on his heels or get his weight back. He has good change of direction to make plays along the perimeter and can flip his hips, turn and close with good urgency. When he gets too high in his pedal, he will shuffle and bail at times, but this is not a crucial problem. He doesn’t explode out of his breaks, but he doesn’t take wasted steps either.

Campbell drives to the ball with good urgency. He has the hand strength to drag down runners along the perimeter or reroute tight ends and slot receivers in the short area. He gives too much cushion at times when playing deep in the secondary, but also has the quickness to close laterally and vs. plays in front of him. He can close ground well, but must develop a second gear, as he will struggle at times to catch up from behind (speed levels off going long distances, but that could be a byproduct of his hamstring injuries in 2014). He allowed only sixteen (54 targets) catches on plays in front of him as a senior, demonstrating good hands and timing to compete for the ball at its high point. His good plant-and-drive agility is evident when closing.

Despite his timed speed, Campbell might lack explosion coming out of his breaks, but he has the fluid stride and hand placement skills to mirror tight ends in the short area. He takes proper angles to shorten the field and stays in control closing on the ball (rare to see him over-pursue). He is quick to support vs. the run and has good closing acceleration that he uses in backside pursuit.

Campbell has above average leaping ability and good timing to compete for jump balls. He can look the pass in over his outside shoulder and his timing lets him consistently get to the pass at its high point. He can run and adjust to the ball in the air and has the height and strength to match up well vs. tight ends and the larger receivers. He has good timing vs. the high throws and is confident using his hand strength in press coverage.

Campbell takes good angles to close. He knows how to use his hands to slip off blocks and generate pocket pressure, but is not used on the blitz as much as he should. He shows no hesitation hurling his body around to make plays along the line. He is tough to contain once he gets a head of steam going and is alert to pullers, staying low in his pads to cut them down.

When he stays low in his pads, Campbell hits with good aggression and improved wrap-up technique. When he gets too high in his stance, he will miss and fail to recover. He has the speed to chase down plays in backside pursuit, doing a good job of breaking down and face up. He is not the type that will punish opponents, as he sometimes leaves his feet, but he is effective at cutting down ball carriers along the perimeter.

Ibraheim Campbell Scouting Combine measurables

30 3/8-inch arm length
10 1/4-inch hands

Dave-Te’ Thomas is a sports writer, talent evaluator and scouting personnel consultant for a majority of teams in the National Football League. Thomas runs a scouting information service called NFL Scouting Services and produces THE NFL Draft Report, a publication provided by league headquarters to the media in preparation for the NFL Draft.


Prospects by: OVERALL RANK | Position | College | Home State | Name

Related: NFL Scouting Combine Coverage

Scout NFL Network Top Stories