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ILB Jack Campbell: NFL Draft scouting report

We break down Iowa linebacker Jack Campbell with a scouting report heading into the 2023 NFL Draft.

Iowa linebacker Jack Campbell (31) gestures during a NCAA Big Ten Conference football game against Northwestern Joseph Cress / USA TODAY NETWORK

Iowa linebacker Jack Campbell was taken by the Detroit Lions with the No. 18 pick in the 2023 NFL Draft. This is the Lions’ second pick of the first round as they took Alabama running back Jahmyr Gibbs at No. 12. He’ll play more of a traditional linebacker role on the inside.

Jack Campbell, one of the nation’s most decorated linebackers, has made his way to the NFL draft. The Iowa standout emerges as a bona fide prospect after receiving little attention coming out of high school, the archetypical Hawkeyes trajectory.

After seeing little action during his first two seasons at Iowa, Campbell entered the starting lineup in 2021. From there, he established himself as a tackling machine, recording 265 over his final two years on campus. When he left the program, Campbell had racked up multiple first-team All-Big Ten honors, the Butkus Award for the nation’s top linebacker, the Campbell Award for academic achievement, and unanimous All-American recognition.

Jack Campbell: Scouting Report

Though pundits frequently typecast Iowa defenders as gritty overachievers, Campbell’s athletic traits place him in rare company. His 6-foot-5, 248-pound frame and stellar performances at the NFL Scouting Combine resulted in a 9.98 Relative Athletic Score. RAS lists Pittsburgh Steelers All-Pro T.J. Watt as Campbell’s top athletic comp.

Though Campbell plays primarily off the ball rather than as an edge rusher, his size-speed profile could allow him to move into the latter role at times. Combined with his abilities as a traditional linebacker, he could have a significant impact as early as his rookie season.

Mock Draft Landing Spots

According to the NFL Mock Draft Database, Campbell looks like a solid second-round projection with a chance to slip into the first round. USA Today recently mocked Campbell to the New York Giants in a trade-up scenario at the end of Day 1.

Matt Miller’s recent ESPN mock draft and Ryan Wilson’s CBS Sports mock draft have him going in the second round. Miller sends him to the Lions with the 48th overall pick and Wilson sends him to the Jets with the 42nd overall pick.