Visit to Vikes could bring medical questions

The Vikings are scheduling a visit with a highly rated offensive lineman, and they could be looking for more information on his medical situation. Either way, his NFL Scouting Combine was impressive, and he has garnered plenty of chatter this offseason.

The Vikings are arranging for a predraft visit with Maryland offensive tackle Bruce Campbell, according to Scout.com's Adam Caplan. If the scheduling works out, Campbell would likely visit Minnesota on April 6-7, when the Vikings are planning their visits with other draft prospects at Winter Park. Campbell is also scheduling a visit with another team picking ahead of the Vikings.

Campbell is the athletic big man that wowed NFL personnel at the NFL Scouting Combine, where he checked in at 6-foot-6½, 314 pounds with impressive 36¼-inch arms and 10½-inch hands. He proved to be extremely athletic, posting good times in the 10-yard, 20-yard and 40-yard dash, highlighted by his 4.85 in the 40 (anything less than 5.0 is excellent for an offensive lineman).

There are varying opinions on Campbell by draft analysts. Some believe he is a first-round pick that could go in the top half of the round because of his athletic ability, but others don't believe what they saw of him on film matched his athleticism. Campbell admitted at the Combine that he has room for improvement.

"I really do. I feel everyone has room for improvement. But I feel like I have a little more," he said. "My first year, I'm really going to work on it because I really want to get in and play. I'm not the type of person who comes to the NFL and is satisfied with just being here. I actually want to do something in the NFL."

It appears that Campbell takes coaching head-on and wants to be told the raw truth.

"(Maryland coach Ralph) Friedgen is a coach who would tell me what I needed to hear, not what I wanted to hear. 'You need to do this or you're not going to be a Terp.' Most of the other coaches were just telling me what I wanted to hear to get to their school," Campbell said of his recruitment to the Terrapins.

He came to Maryland and started contributing right away, making one start at left tackle as a freshman, earning the full-time starting job midway through his sophomore season, missing three games as a junior and then declaring for the NFL draft. He didn't give up a sack last year.

"A two-year starter at Maryland, Campbell has all the physical attributes you look for in an offensive tackle, but lacks the overall experience that the top offensive tackles possess in this year's draft," Scout.com draft analyst Chris Steuber writes in his assessment of Campbell. "Even though Campbell has played in 27 career games at Maryland, which included 17 starts, he still has a long way to go. At 6-foot-7, 310 pounds, Campbell has an elite frame, but must get stronger physically to become a better all-around player, especially as a run blocker. Campbell is the type of guy who will impress in a workout and feature some impressive numbers, but when you turn on the film and watch him play, the flaws in his game are obvious."

Campbell comes from an athletic background, as his father played professional basketball, but that didn't mean an easy life for Bruce Keith Campbell Sr.'s son.

"I don't know what he did with himself, but I didn't live that lifestyle of the rich and famous," Bruce II said at the Combine. "I wasn't living in a big house or any of that stuff. I grew up right there in the heart of New Haven, in pretty much the ghetto and it was rough. It was real rough."

He credits his mother with keeping him on the right path, and a responsibility he felt to steer clear of trouble when his younger nephews started hanging around him. That said, he doesn't long for New Haven.

How bad is New Haven now?

"I don't take visits for very long. If I go, it's probably no longer than a week and a half," he said. "There is just too much going on. Too much shooting, killing, stabbing, robberies. I don't want to be in that type of neighborhood and I don't want to be in that type of environment."

But he also doesn't want to be coddled. Just like he respected Friedgen for telling him what he needed to do to contribute to Maryland, Campbell said he doesn't pay attention to the compliments paid to him by NFL coaches and scouts. He'd rather hear what he needs to improve.

The Vikings might also want to find out more about something that showed up in his medical test in Indianapolis, where NFL medical personnel saw the results of a surgery he had in high school to correct a malformation at the base of his brainstem called Arnold-Chiari.

"After listening to all the doctors talk (at the Combine), I really don't know. I really don't know how to explain it anymore," he said.

He said he feels great and his physical testing at the Combine – which included a 32-inch vertical jump and 8-foot-5 broad jump – would attest to that.

Now it's just a matter of which team likes his athleticism enough to draft him early.


Tim Yotter is the publisher of Viking Update. Follow Viking Update on Twitter and discuss this story on our subscriber message board.

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