Thursday, January 3, 2008

Calais Makes it Official

Though it had been reported on this site weeks ago and by several sources, Calais Campbell apparently never made it "official official" that he was entering the NFL draft. Well now its official.

This comes as no surprise to anyone around the team or anyone who follows NFL Draft coverage. A 6'8 280 pound DE with excellent speed is going to go in the first round. Period.

Calais may have struggled mightily this year versus double teams, particularly against the run. He also got thrown around like a rag doll by Oklahoma's massive offensive linemen. However, his measurables and still semi-respectable production will be enough to get him in the first round.

Seeing as how he has his degree and this team has no real hope of winning a title next year, there was no point in him sticking around. Honestly, though I really like the guy, he probably won't be missed that much. The depth at DE is really thin, but Calais' impact was minimal at times. Though he drew double teams, the rest of the team rarely capitalized off of them anyway.

Versus the run, Campbell would be completely taken out of plays at times by running too far up field. Worse, his techniques seem to have broken down from last season. Rather than use his length to his advantage or develop a spin or swim move, he constantly uses the bull rush and gets stood up because he is so tall.

That being said, I wish him the very best. He was a Cane through and through. I'll always remember seeing him walking around on campus with a big smile on his face and always trying to pump up the
crowd at the Orange Bowl. The flaws in his game for the most part can be fixed. I would designate him as a project for the NFL right now. If he develops correctly though, he could easily be one of the top 5 defensive ends in the game thanks to his natural abilities.

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