2021 NFL draft prospects: Georgia CB Tyson Campbell

Eric Edholm's criteria for grading NFL draft prospects. (Albert Corona/Yahoo Sports)
Eric Edholm's criteria for grading NFL draft prospects. (Albert Corona/Yahoo Sports)

Georgia CB Tyson Campbell

6-foot-2, 185 pounds

Yahoo Sports draft grade: 5.87 — potential starter

TL;DR scouting report: Long, highly athletic man-cover corner who is ascending, even after a tough outing against Alabama

Games watched: Auburn (2020), Missouri (2020), Alabama (2020), Cincinnati (2020),

The skinny: A 5-star Rivals recruit (No. 25 nationally), Campbell was also a highly decorated track star. He played immediately in Athens, starting 11 of 14 games and making 45 tackles and one pass defended. As a sophomore in 2019, Campbell made 15 tackles and four INTs in nine starts, missing five games midseason with turf toe. In 2020, he grabbed his first career INT, adding 29 tackles (2.5 for losses) and five passes defended in 10 starts.

Upside: Possesses first-round traits — alluring combination of size and twitchy athleticism. Great length to reroute receivers and make life tougher on receivers at the catch point. Terrific movement for a player with his length.

Possesses make-up speed if receivers get a step on him — high school sprint champion (100 meters and 200) who can run fast and for days. Great stamina to chase speedy receivers for four quarters — rarely looks worn out.

One of the best hip flippers in this entire class. Transition ability is NFL-ready now. Good reaction skills mid-route.

Looks like a tailor-made man-cover corner in a league where man defense is en vogue again. Shadows routes easily with light feet and little wasted movement. Will plant his feet and drive on the ball. Can go vertical at the catch point.

ATHENS, GA - OCTOBER 03: Tyson Campbell #3 of the Georgia Bulldogs breaks up a pass intended for Seth Williams #18 of the Auburn Tigers during the second half of a game at Sanford Stadium on October 3, 2020 in Athens, Georgia. (Photo by Todd Kirkland/Getty Images)
Georgia defensive back Tyson Campbell is a man-cover prototype at corner. (Photo by Todd Kirkland/Getty Images)

Excellent tackler. Sure, sound wrap-up hitter. Longer frame and athleticism allows him to vacuum up tackles. Willing and able to hit on the outside and come up to support the run.

Faced battery of gifted receivers the past three seasons. Allowed more than 44 yards receiving in only one of his past 26 games. SEC quarterbacks rarely tested him — for good reason. Only 117 targets on 869 career coverage snaps, per PFF.

Still very young — just turned 21. His best football appears to be ahead of him.

Downside: Playmaking hasn’t fully developed — only one INT and nine passes defended in parts of three seasons. Struggles to find the football mid-flight. Face guarder who gets his head around late and fails to box out the receiver. Might never be a big ballhawk.

Doesn’t carry enough of an aggressive mentality — needs to be the dictator more often. Has struggled with confidence — beats himself up over missed plays. Handling man-coverage duties requires dealing with humble moments, and it could take a few years to unlock his full potential and poise.

Was undressed against Alabama — allowed DeVonta Smith (five first-down catches) and Jaylen Waddle (90-yard TD) eat him up when manned up. Couldn’t match physicality with Auburn’s Seth Williams. Had a sub-par bowl game against Cincinnati — allowed a TD and gave up too many yards after the catch.

Lean, wiry frame — could have trouble making way through the rigors of a 16-game NFL schedule unscathed. Can be blocked too easily. Will endure some technical errors the longer he’s asked to cover. Not as proficient in off-man or zone coverages.

Best-suited destination: In a league that often favors traits over production, Campbell won’t last long. He’ll be more appealing for man-heavier teams but could develop into a Cover 3 style of corner, too.

Did you know: Campbell was high school teammates with another top corner in this draft class, Alabama’s Patrick Surtain Jr. Their coach: Patrick Surtain Sr.

Player comp: Las Vegas Raiders 2020 first-rounder A.J. Terrell.

Expected draft range: Top-50 pick