We are now in the month of the NFL Draft, which gets underway on April 27. That means more and more speculation on who teams will draft is coming. Today, Fox Sports came out with a new mock draft, and in it a surprise name was mocked to the Pittsburgh Steelers.
Drafting for the Steelers was analyst RJ Young who has the Steelers selecting Iowa inside linebacker Jack Campbell.
“The Steelers have a need at inside linebacker, and last season Campbell was the linchpin on the best defense in college football this side of Georgia,” wrote Young. “He notched 115 total tackles, 3.5 tackles for loss, three pass breakups and two interceptions with a forced fumble. He was a consensus All-America selection and also became the first Iowa Hawkeye to win the Butkus Award, which recognizes the nation’s best linebacker. In the middle of Pittsburgh’s defense, Campbell could be a leader in production and in the locker room for years to come.”
Campbell would fill a big need for Pittsburgh and in weaker inside linebacker class he is one of the best prospects. Getting Campbell would be nice for the Steelers, who currently have one of the weaker units in the league despite revamping it this offseason.
One of the biggest needs in the linebacker room is a coverage linebacker. Campbell, while not extremely athletic, showed coverage ability in college, breaking up nine passes and intercepting one pass in four years.
Campbell, while a good player, seems like a reach at 17 given other needs. In this same mock draft names such as offensive tackle Broderick Jones, safety Brian Branch, and offensive tackle Darnell Wright are on the board at 17. Pittsburgh taking Campbell there would be a serious reach as he is someone who will likely be on the board at 32 and maybe even at 49.
Despite being a good player and filling a need, positional value is important and should play a part in the drafting process with as many needs on the roster as the Steelers have. With top-end tackles on the board and the best safety in the draft available too, it would be a mistake to draft an inside linebacker who has routinely been seen as an early=second round talent.
Jack Campbell being drafted by the Steelers certainly would be a good move. So long as it isn’t at pick 17.