NFL Draft Breakdown: Northwestern’s Ibraheim Campbell

Ibraheim Campbell, Strong Safety, Northwestern University 

Height: 5’11″ (From Combine)
Weight: 208 lbs (From Combine)
Year: rSr

Trait Notes:
Instincts – D+
Discipline – D+
Technique – C-
Coverage Diversity – D
Speed – C+
Burst – C+
Agility – C
Tackling – C
Size – C+
Overall Current Grade – D+
Overall Ceiling Grade – C+

Instincts, Discipline and Coverage Diversity.

Campbell shows little in the form of natural instincts at the safety position. Campbell relies more on reactionary skills than instincts. Campbell will see the play happen, then react and attack from there, rarely making a break and jumping a route or envisioning the play and making it up to fill a gap early. Campbell is very uncomfortable backpedaling to his zone and will get turned around easily. Campbell has had issues with allowing receivers to get deep and run on by him.

Campbell shows good discipline on clear cut running plays but hesitates and struggles to read play action. Campbell is a candidate to bite hard on fakes and struggles to diagnose where the ball is going while manning his assignment. Against the run, Campbell fills his gaps nicely and stays home when needed.

Due to Campbells lack of instincts and struggles in coverage, he is very scheme-limited. Campbell lacks the ability to play high and will most likely be restricted to box duties in the NFL. Inside the box, Campbell is a force against the run and comes up and hits as well as any safety in this class. Cambpell has shown a knack for creating forced fumbles thanks to active hands and wrapping up upon making the tackle as well as his bone jarring hits.

Speed,  Burst and Agility.

Campbell doesn’t play with great top end speed but does show a decent burst. When coming out of his back pedal Campbell does a good job driving forward and gaining steam. When beat deep Campbell will struggle to play catch up and relies heavily on good recovery speed over top end speed.

As noted, Campbell displays decent burst out of his drops but when it comes to kicking into another gear when closing in on the ball carrier, he doesn’t quite have that extra gear. As an in the box safety, ,Campbell’s burst is adequate for the role he will need to fill but not much more.

Size and Tackling.

Campbell doesn’t quite have the prototype size but one look at him on the football field and you’ll see he’s a very well put together player. Campbell is only 5’11” but plays more like a linebacker making hits around the line of scrimmage.

While Campbell is a big hitter I did take note on some missed tackles. Delving into some later clips you can see some struggles bringing down open field runners. Campbell needs some better eye discipline when closing in to make sure his target zone is at the hips and this should improve. If we focus on splash plays and big hits, Campbell excels here. Campbell doesn’t shy away from launching into the ball and this takes us back to turnovers, Campbell can deliver  a blow to change the course of a game.

Where does Ibraheim Campbell need to improve?

Campbell has to improve in coverage and most importantly, his ability to keep the play in front of him. This is part discipline and part field surveillance. Campbell has to be disciplined enough to not cheat up during the play and has to be more aware of where the receivers are while reading the quarterback. When tackling, Campbell has to improve his target zone and make sure he brings down the ball carrier at first contact. With these improvements, Campbell could turn himself into a reliable starter down the road.

Where does Ibraheim Campbell fit with the Bucs?

The Buccaneers thought they were getting an enforcer when they signed Dashon Goldson, the turnovers never came while the TD’s allowed stacked up. While it wasn’t all on Goldson, the team decided he wasn’t worth keeping around and in turn moved on from his services. With McDougald, Wright, Conte and Tandy currently on the roster the future at the position is still in question over the long haul. Campbell could come in as a day 3 pick and learn behind some players that have time in the system and perform on special teams while being groomed for the strong safety position down the road.

Overall, Campbell comes in at a 6.8 overall as a developmental player that can provide special teams help year one while learning finer points of the scheme on defense.

Short Term Outlook:

Developmental player that could use work on special teams while working on his coverage ability and discipline.

Long Term Outlook:

Starter potential by year three with plus in the box potential as a strong safety. Heavy hitter whose future is dependent on growth in coverage.

Draft Prediction:

Late 4th to early 6th round pick.

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1 Comment on NFL Draft Breakdown: Northwestern’s Ibraheim Campbell

vicbarney1 said : Guest Report one year ago

Your article makes great sense to me Kyle! I'm just saying...

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