Trevor Lawrence is poised to make a huge leap in 2022 but he isn’t the only member of the Jacksonville Jaguars’ last year’s draft class that should improve in Year 2. Cornerback Tyson Campbell showed flashes as a rookie and is seen as a breakout candidate in his sophomore campaign.
Ian Wharton of Bleacher Report recently predicted every NFL team’s breakout player for the 2022 season and Campbell got the nod. Wharton points out that the former Georgia Bulldog is coming off a promising year and should benefit from the additions Jacksonville made to their front seven this offseason.
"New defensive coordinator Mike Caldwell will hopefully pull upon his experience across four teams over the last decade to put together the most tailored scheme for the unit. Campbell is best in vertical zone assignments because he struggles to sink his hips and cut sharply. If Caldwell can account for this effectively, Campbell should see a major boost in his production."
Keep in mind that this isn’t a matter of either-or. Lawrence is a franchise cornerstone and should improve significantly in 2022. Campbell also played substantially better as the 2021 season progressed, snagging a team-high two interceptions and five passes defensed. Both players were worth making Wharton’s list but it’s fair that other Jaguars besides Lawrence get the spotlight.
Jaguars cornerback Tyson Campbell should only get better in 2022.
Taking Campbell with the 33rd pick in the 2021 draft was somewhat of a puzzling decision at the time. This writer wasn’t a fan of the selection with safety and left tackle arguably being more pressing needs. However, the Florida native ended up proving all critics wrong and went on to become a key cog in the Jaguars’ secondary. Moreover, the front office later selected Walker Little with the 45th overall pick and chose Andre Cisco at No. 65, addressing both needs.
Although Campbell struggled in the preseason, he took over slot duties and became a Week 1 starter after Tre Herndon suffered an MCL injury. He didn’t fare much better early in the season and had to miss time with a toe injury. When the Jags traded cornerback C.J. Henderson, he was moved to the boundaries and stayed there for the remainder of the year. This was a good call from the coaching staff as he progressively got better.
With one year of experience under his belt, Campbell should be even better in Year 2. As Wharton pointed out, Jacksonville’s revamped front seven should allow Campbell and fellow cornerbacks Darious Williams and Shaquill Griffin to hold their coverage for a longer time.
If Campbell keeps improving the way he did toward the end of his rookie year, he could even be a realistic candidate to make the Pro Bowl in 2022 and be the first Jaguar selected since 2019.