Belichick to Finally Draft a Receiver in the First Round?

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The 2019 NFL Draft is stacked with talent at the wide receiver position and the New England Patriots have a need at wide receiver.  Ohio State’s Parris Campbell is an impressive talent and would compliment the Patriots offense nicely.  Campbell would be able to immediately contribute to the team’s offense and Tom Brady would have a big target to toss the ball to now that tight end Rob Gronkowski has retired. 

Photo courtesy of Land-Grant Holy Land

The 2019 NFL Draft is stacked with talent at the wide receiver position and the New England Patriots have a need at wide receiver.  Ohio State’s Parris Campbell is an impressive talent and would compliment the Patriots offense nicely.  Campbell would be able to immediately contribute to the team’s offense and Tom Brady would have a big target to toss the ball to now that tight end Rob Gronkowski has retired.

Since Bill Belichick became the Patriots head coach, he has never selected a wide receiver in the first round.  The Patriots have struggled to develop wide receivers, names like Aaron Dobson, Josh Boyce, Taylor Price, Brandon Tate, Chad Jackson and Bethel Johnson were drafted in the first four rounds.  They all failed to make an impact for the Patriots.  The only player to come close was Malcolm Mitchell, but injuries ended his career early. 

The only success the Patriots can arguably have seen in the draft were from players Julian Edelman, Deion Branch and David Givens. 

The Patriots own two second round selections in the draft, they’ll pick 56th (which they got from Chicago) and the 64th overall pick as well.  The Patriots could select multiple offensive weapons for Brady with high ceiling upside for their offense. 

Campbell spent four years at Ohio State and in his senior year he played in 14 games with 90 receptions, 1,063 yard and 12 touchdowns.  He also was a decent kick returner.  He returned 30 kicks for 913 yards during his time at Ohio State.  He did not return any kicks as a senior. 

What is it that attracts Campbell to Belichick?  For one, his size.  Campbell is 6-foot-1 and 208 pounds, and he’s fast too.  Campbell killed it running the 40-yard dash at the NFL Combine.  He ran it in 4.31 seconds.  Many scouts project that Campbell could land in the second round. 

Campbell isn’t the greatest route runner, and he will need to improve upon this at the professional level.  There is no doubt that he is a talent who has a very high ceiling.  The NFL.com draft analysis Lance Zierlein broke down Campbell, "Teams know he's a gifted athlete, but he needs to add more polish as a route-runner to become a well-rounded target instead of a gadget slot," Zierlein said. "His upside is bolstered by his traits while his special teams ability and talent with the ball in his hands should level out any bust concerns."

His stock has risen after his performance at the NFL Combine, but it seemingly tumbled at his Pro Day.  Campbell fell awkwardly to the turf and it ended his day.  He wasn’t injured overall, but it didn’t allow him to once again showcase his talent. 

Campbell is a big play receiver and the Patriots would be able to slot him with Edelman and newly acquired Demaryius Thomas, who they signed last week.  Campbell displayed that big play capability against Ohio State’s chief rival Michigan, where he had six catches for 192 yards and two touchdowns.  That kind of big play ability would give the Patriots a different dynamic offensively now that Gronkowski has decided to move on. 

“I think my ceiling is high for the position,” Campbell said. “I made the transition when I got to college. It was a struggle for me early on, but I continued to work.”

Campbell undoubtedly has the chance to become an electrifying receiver in the NFL.  I’m sure Patriots fans would love to see his high ceiling in Foxboro. 



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Boston Sports Syndicate: Belichick to Finally Draft a Receiver in the First Round?
Belichick to Finally Draft a Receiver in the First Round?
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