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Lions draft LB Jack Campbell with No. 18 pick

Iowa LB Jack Campbell goes to the Lions with the No. 18 pick in the 2023 draft.

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

The Detroit Lions have drafted Iowa LB Jack Campbell with the No. 18 overall pick in the first round of the 2023 NFL Draft.

Scouting Report

Campbell is always around the ball making a tackle. He is aggressive and is a sideline to sideline tackler and exactly what you want in a linebacker. His size and measurables are great for the linebacker position at 6-foot-5 and 249 pounds. He has a high football IQ and showed that time and time again at Iowa. He does not get caught out of place much and can read plays handily. He could improve some in coverage, but he improved in his time at Iowa. He could be one of the best linebackers in the NFL in a few seasons.

Career statistics

In 2022, Campbell had a stellar season. He finished the year with 128 tackles (60 solo), 5.5 tackles for loss, three pass deflections, two interceptions, one sack, and one forced fumble. He received the Butkus Award for top linebacker in the country, First Team All-American by the majority of sites, First Team All-Big Ten, and received the Nagurski-Woodson Big Ten Defensive Player of the Year. While the Iowa offense had struggles, Campbell helped lead this defense to being one of the best in the country.

How can Jack Campbell impact the Lions in 2023?

This was a head-scratcher for the Lions. Campbell is certainly a top linebacker in the class but was projected to be an early second round pick. Alex Anzalone has been a solid contributor for the Detroit defense and should be the starting middle linebacker. Hard Knocks star Malcolm Rodriguez also improved throughout his rookie season. Campbell could start over James Houston, but at the very least, he provides another tough player for the Lions' defense.