#217- DJ Campbell, S, California
Campbell (6', 205 lb) is a 13 game starter for Cal who played in 48 games, totaling 110 tackles, 4.5 tackles for loss, 2 sacks, 2 INT (29 yards), 7 deflected passes, a forced fumble, and four fumble recoveries, most of which happened in his senior year (he played behind 3rd round/2011 Chris Conte before that). Campbell struggled to get playing time prior to his senior year, but responded as a starter.
Campbell's Pro Day numbers were good enough to rate strongly at the position as well - he ran a 4.51 40, which would've been good enough to be 2nd at combine; his impressive 22 reps of 225 in the bench press would've tied him for first at his position at combine.
Campbell is a smart, athletic backup type safety who’ll start out on special teams, and may not become a star, but will do everything right when asked. This is the type player who’ll end up relying on circumstance to become a potential starter, or could just carve out a strong career playing special teams at a high level.
Carolina does have an opening for such a player, with Jordan Pugh struggling behind starters Charles Godfrey and Sherrod Martin. New acquisitions Haruki Nakamura and Reggie Smith should have a fight for one of the starting spots, but chances are strong the loser goes (same thing happened last year). Either way, unless they move Jordan Pugh to corner, that's who Campbell will be fighting.
Campbell has ties to Ron Rivera, not only for the Golden Bear alumni link, but also a link with his nieces (same high school). Not that interesting, and you've read it elsewhere before (a month ago, possibly - sorry, I'm tired), but it's worth a mention. I'm interested to see what can come of Campbell: he's the right mix of smarts and ability and just needs time to learn. I hope he gets it.