Bruce Campbell  OT  Maryland


 Round 4




Bruce is a big, tall, long-armed offensive tackle who has good overall athletic talent to play his position.  He has quick feet and the athletic talent to mirror his opponent when covering the blind side of his QB.  Bruce has enormous talent to go along with his enormous size; unfortunately, it takes more than talent to play in the NFL. 



Right now, Bruce plays at a decent level only because of his athletic talent.  His techniques are very immature and his play is lazy at times.  He does not play with mental stamina; he plays too high, can be handled very easily as well as fooled and set up for a big defensive play.  Bruce plays way too high when he run blocks.  He has the talent and athletic ability to block at the second level and be used as a pulling tackle, but does not seem to have the energy.  Bruce is the type of player that if he is "coached up" could be a Pro Bowl left tackle.  (I hate that expression, "coached up".) 



A coach who has the ego the size of a walrus is going to fall in love with this kid because Bruce is a challenge.   Bruce has 1st round talent, but 4th round mental stamina, work ethic and maturity.  I would consider Bruce as a possible right tackle in the future.  Unfortunately, for the NFL, I would not consider him as a possible left tackle until he matures on the field.  The expression that we hear all the time is that you can "coach up" a player like Bruce, which is usually their justification for drafting a player like this in the first round. It stands to reason that if a player is not reaching (or trying to reach) his potential at the college level that you can "coach him up" until you're blue in the face and it's not going to happen at the NFL level.  Bruce is young and has not played the left tackle position until this year.  If he stayed in for one more year and showed improvement, I would then have to consider him as a possible 1st round draft choice.  To suggest he is a first round choice because of his size and athletic ability right now is a trap that I believe too many scouts, GM's and coaches fall into when evaluating players for the draft.  In my opinion, it's the reason we have so many first round busts.  Years ago, it didn't matter if the first rounder was a bust.  Nowadays, your first round pick has to be a starter and at least be productive or, in most cases, your team looks to make a change in front office or coaching.  Bruce is a boom or bust player - it's just that simple.  The question is this... is Bruce mature enough to handle first round money and improve his work ethic, techniques, mental strength and physical stamina to become the left tackle his talents suggest that he can become?  He is a pure tackle and they are hard to find!  But, is he a right tackle or left tackle?  Anybody remember Langston Walker?  He made a lot of money in the NFL before everyone realized that he could not be "coached up"!


Drew Boylhart  1/10