Cornerback Marshon Lattimore has been one of the NFL's best since the New Orleans Saints selected him with the 11th overall pick in the 2017 draft out of Ohio State. Lattimore has allowed under 52% completion percentage when targeted over the last two years. In his 4 NFL seasons he has 10 interceptions, 55 passes broken up, 9 fumbles either forced or recovered, and three Pro Bowls bids.
Veteran CB Janoris Jenkins was an ideal complement to Lattimore over the last two seasons. However, Jenkins was released this offseason for salary cap reasons. His absence creates a huge need for a New Orleans pass defense that ranked fifth in the league and led the NFL with 18 interceptions in 2020.
I expect the Saints to address the cornerback position with their first round pick tonight. There are several talented prospects in what looks like a deep class of corners. New Orleans will have to trade up for a shot at any of the top four: Alabama's Patrick Surtain Jr., South Carolina's Jaycee Horn, Northwestern's Greg Newsome, or Caleb Farley of Virginia Tech.
If they aren't able to land any of these talents, there are still a few that could sneak into the later part of the first round selections. That includes the spotlight of today's draft profile.
TYSON CAMPBELL, CORNERBACK (GEORGIA)
Pro Day 40m = 4.34
NFL.com Comparison (Lance Zierlein):
William Jackson III (WFT)
Campbell was a five-star recruit and state champion in the 100m and 200m sprints at American Heritage High School in Florida. He was a high school teammate of Alabama star CB Patrick Surtain Jr. and coached by former NFL All-Pro CB Patrick Surtain Sr.
As a true freshman at Georgia, he had 45 tackles and broke up a pass in 11 starts. A foot injury sidelined him for five games in 2019, when he broke up 4 passes and recorded 15 tackles. He led the Bulldogs with five passes broken up in 2020, also notching an interception and 2.5 stops for loss among his 29 total tackles.
Campbell appeared to struggle with bouts of shaky confidence at different points in his career at Georgia, leading to indecisive moments. Has had struggles with his footwork and balance in press coverage, especially against shifty receivers.
A lean build could be problematic against bigger wideouts that have a physical style of play. He needs to turn his head back to the ball much faster when in man coverage. Failure to do so has greatly reduced his ability to create turnovers and will make him prone to penalties.
Campbell has the height and athleticism to match up with any receiver outside or from the slot. He has blazing recovery speed and a sudden burst out of his stance to close quickly on plays in front of him. Campbell has fluid change of direction skills, allowing him to mirror any route.
His natural feel and vision for the position allows him to transition quickly in off-ball coverage. Not afraid to be physical, Campbell fits nicely as a press corner and has the hips to turn and run without loosing a step to anyone. He’s willing in run support and has solid fundamentals as a tackler in the open field.
Not as polished as his Georgia teammate at cornerback, Eric Stokes, but both players will be high draft picks and have the ability to be NFL starters. Campbell has a rare combination of length and athletic skills that teams covet at cornerback. He must learn to trust his ability more and play more confidently.
Campbell will undoubtedly be off the board before the 3rd round and may even sneak into the late 1st round of selections. Like his Georgia teammate Stokes, he is much more than a sprinter that plays football. Tyson Campbell has the coverage skills to go along with the world-class speed to make him an immediate starter with the potential of being a shutdown corner at the NFL level.