2023 NFL Draft Film Review: Jack Campbell Can Become The Face Of The Lions Defense

2023 NFL Draft Film Review: Jack Campbell Can Become The Face Of The Lions Defense

© Courtesy of Lions Wire

There may be a chance that Iowa quarterback Jack Campbell and Detroit native Dan Campbell are connected somewhere. If so, that would explain why the Detroit Lions surprised everyone by selecting him with the 18th overall pick in the 2023 NFL Draft.

Look, I'll be the first to admit that I loved Jack Campbell's field research before I put together any preliminary research on him. First, he loves hunting and I think he'll find a good spot north (across the Zilwaukee Bridge) during deer season. During that time, he was a standout high school basketball player. As a forward, he was physically challenged by anyone who appeared on the court, and most people at Cedar Falls High School in Cedar Falls, Iowa thought he could play basketball.

He is a great leader on the pitch and it shows in the way he communicates with every shot. Clearly he is the leader of this Iowa defense. As for his game, he can easily change direction and always shows good technique. But there are times when Campbell needs to adjust the angle of his pursuit of the ball when he scratches the top or he will let his guard down. Michigan quarterback Blake Corum did this to him in their 2021 meeting.

Games like that can happen – what matters is that they don't happen all the time. Let's watch a movie about Iowa quarterback Jack Campbell to see how he fits in with the Detroit Lions!

We fill the back, compress and bend

We all know that a successful team consists of 11 players who do their job consistently in attack and defense. Of course there will be times when this doesn't happen and the attack or defense fails. As for Jack Campbell, he has consistently demonstrated good technique on record and the ability to play soccer. In fact, he was so good he won the 2022 Bukus Prize as the country's best quarterback last season.

Before the game against Ohio State, Jack Campbell had one of his best games of the season. He has 6 tackles, two pressures and an interception, and his 91.5 defense rating (from the PFF) is a season high.

Watching the match above, you can see Campbell starting at 10am (between guard and center) as quarterback MIKE. With the outside zone being developed by the Buckeyes, the Iowa Defense did a great job of forcing running backs to stop and change course. In doing so, Campbell filled the back lane while backtracking and leaning toward the football. This allowed him to make one tackle in six.

Always on standby when there is an attack

As I continued to watch Jack Campbell, I loved the way he attacked the descent. He had 265 tackles, four interceptions, and seven pass breakups over the past two seasons. He was a constant threat on the pitch, using his strength and size to his advantage.

If you watch the play above, Campbell slipped on a pre-snap move, but even getting up from the gap didn't slow him down. He read the range blocks developing in front of him and then flew out for the tackle. With the way the Lions' defense is starting to get annoying, it's clear the Lions believe Campbell can thrive in their defensive midfield.

Campbell signed up to the Scout Association at 6 feet 5 and 249 pounds. He ran an impressive 40 yards in 4.65 seconds and completed a 3-pin drill in 6.74 seconds. His ability to change direction is impressive, and his 92.9 coverage rating (from the PFF) is the highest of any quarterback in his class.

General Thoughts

One thing is for sure, no one knows what the Detroit Lions are thinking. Or we play chess and they play chess or vice versa. Still, fans tell me the Lions don't really like linebackers, but they only took one in the first half.

Of course, we had both players in the first half, but we don't know where those players rank on the team other than the Lions roster. As for Campbell, the pressure will be on him to quickly become an influential player in his career. He still needs to improve his block throwing position, but playing alongside Malcolm Rodriguez and Alex Anzalone will help him.

However, we just need to trust the process.

Taking Campbell after Alex Anzalone's three-year contract is a tough pill to swallow, but the Lions could easily fire Anzalone after the 2024 season. One thing we as a fan base can hope for is that the Lions have struck gold with Malcolm Rodriguez's 6th Round NFL Draft selection. 2022. Could the Lions have another hit with Jack Campbell in the 3-yard round of the 2023 NFL Draft?

Time will tell.


Project Lions Day 2 can be summed up perfectly in one sentence

2023 NFL Draft Movie Review: Tennessee QB Hendon Hooker has always been the Lions

Direct credit to Detroit Lions QB Handon Hooker

His immediate choice was Detroit Lions DB Brian Branch

The Lions returned in the 3rd round selecting DT Brodric Martin of Western Kentucky

Full 2023 NFL Draft Summary: Winner/Loss, Top Picks, Ranking, Top Players Available

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