Rookie Rundown: WR Parris Campbell, Ohio State

Rookie Rundown: WR Parris Campbell, Ohio State

NFL Draft

Rookie Rundown: WR Parris Campbell, Ohio State

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Parris Campbell will be one of the first wideouts drafted this year, offering an elite set of size, speed and receiving talent. He’s a mature 23 years old after red-shirting his first season and then not catching any in his four starts in 2015. Campbell came into his own as a senior when he operated mostly from the slot and topped 1,000 yards and scored 12 times.

He averaged over six catches per game last year and added 23 carries in his college career. Campbell tied with Andy Isabella as the fastest wideouts at the NFL combine when they turned in a 4.31 40-time. His broad jump (11-3) and vertical jump (40″) were also among the top marks for his position.

Height: 6-0
Weight: 205 pounds
40 time: 4.31 seconds

While he offers blazing straight-line speed, he never averaged more than 14.6 yards per catch in any season mostly due to the more conservative passing scheme that limited him to short and intermediate routes. Campbell became an elite wideout last year and his ceiling is considered even higher in the NFL.

Year Games Catch Yards Avg. TD Runs Yards. TD Total Yards Total TDs
2015 4 0 0 0.0 0 0 0 0 0 0
2016 12 13 121 9.3 0 4 54 1 175 1
2017 13 40 584 14.6 3 10 132 1 716 4
2018 14 90 1063 11.8 12 9 24 0 1087 12

Pros

  • Elite speed
  • Second gear will result in higher YAC
  • Sharp route running
  • Continued to improve every year
  • Dangerous open field runner
  • Size to break tackles
  • Speed affords a cushion by defenders
  • Solid blocker
  • Offers return skills

Cons

  • Needs to improve contested catches
  • Hasn’t run the entire receiving tree
  • Needs to continue to improve hands
  • Slot receiver that didn’t deal with jams

Campbell turned in a stellar senior season despite playing for a very conservative passing scheme that didn’t ask him to use his speed for downfield separation. That will change in the NFL though he needs to learn the new routes and may end up on the outside as a rookie if his team wants to throw deep.

That Ohio State system with HC Urban Meyer doesn’t throw as much and rarely more than intermediate passes. A previous alum came into the NFL with similarly incomplete college experience at OSU. He too only started two seasons and yet never caught more than 54 passes for 799 yards with only a 14.2 yard-per-catch average there. Michael Thomas fell to the second round in 2016 from his under-use at Ohio State before joining the Saints.

As a rookie, Campbell will likely play special teams and work on completing his route tree. He has the elite speed to make a difference for an NFL team but still needs to become a more complete receiver. If he lands with a team that has a glaring need for a receiver in 2019, he could offer a nice surprise to fantasy owners. Even Michael Thomas turned in 92 receptions as a rookie which was almost twice what he managed in any season at OSU.

Campbell’s stock rose after the combine and he’s likely gone from a third or even fourth-round pick to being a second round if not potential late first round. He offers undeniable upside even if he remains a bit raw in some areas.

 

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