Atlanta continued to add to its 2016 Rookie Club on Saturday by drafting linebacker De'Vondre Campbell in the fourth round, No. 115 overall. Here's what you need to know about the newest Falcon:
Campbell played his college ball at Minnesota and finished 2015 with 92 tackles (6.5 for loss), a team-high four sacks, an interception and a forced fumble en route to an All-Big Ten honorable mention.
Like the three draft picks before him, Campbell is considered fast for his position. He ran a 4.58 40-yard dash at the combine, the third-best time among linebackers who participated. His height (6-foot-4) ranks in the 89th percentile among linebackers, and his arms, 33 ⅝ inches long, are in the 88th percentile at his position.
- Campbell has spent this offseason in Orlando training with former Falcon Chuck Smith. The two have been working on the pass rush together, and according to Smith, Campbell "doesn't make the same mistake twice," adding that he's a strong learning and challenges the other guys he works with.
Here's what Minnesota coach Tracy Claeys had to say about Campbell: "De'Vondre is a big, fast, athletic linebacker who can cover a lot of field and make plays. You cannot teach height and speed and he has plenty of both. His best football is still ahead of him and with the right fit he could have tremendous success at the next level."
Scouts agree that Campbell's best days are in the future. NFL.com's Lance Zierlein said the linebacker "is just scratching the surface of his potential." SB Nation's Dan Kadar believes "he's got everything you want in an athletic pass rushing linebacker. From a tools standpoint, Campbell has all the ones you want: He's long with speed and good movement skills."
- Campbell made a strong impression at this year's East-West Shrine Game. Here's USA Today's Cory Mull report from that event: "When he hit the field for the West squad on Tuesday, just four days away from the East-West Shrine Game at Tropicana Field, you could see the obvious characteristics that most NFL teams crave on Sundays: height, size, speed, length and athletic ability."
Two of his seasons as a Gopher were spent with Ra'Shede Hageman. On Friday, Campbell said the Atlanta defensive tackle was one of his role models at Minnesota.
Campbell believes his biggest strength is versatility. When speaking with the Atlanta media, he said he can play all three linebacker positions, line up in nickel situations, rush the passer and cover running backs, slot receivers and tight ends.
Like Deion Jones, Campbell was tabbed by Atlanta to play weakside linebacker and contribute on special teams.
Jones was named after former Falcon Deion Sanders, and Campbell shares a hometown with the Hall of Fame cornerback: Fort Myers, Fla. For information on season, group, or single game tickets visit www.atlantafalcons.com/tickets. Submit a ticket request form today and receive access to an exclusive single game ticket pre-sale on May 5th!