Cornerback Tyson Campbell struggled early in his rookie campaign but he improved as the year went on and became a key cog of the Jacksonville Jaguars’ secondary. Ahead of training camp, the former Georgia Bulldog has been named the Jags’ X-Factor for the 2022 NFL season.
Gary Davenport of Bleacher Report recently discussed NFL players whose success or failure will have an impact on their respective teams and he chose Campbell for Jacksonville. Davenport believes the Jags have talent a couple of talented cornerbacks in Darious Williams and Shaquill Griffin. On the other hand, he sees Campbell as an unknown commodity.
Williams and Shaquill Griffin are proven commodities. The former won a Super Bowl with the Rams last year, while the latter was a Pro Bowler with the Seattle Seahawks in 2019. However, the third starter in Jacksonville’s nickel sets is a bit less certain. The Jaguars drafted Tyson Campbell in the second round out of Georgia in 2021. Campbell started 14 games as a rookie, piling up 73 total tackles, but he allowed 54 of the 81 targets thrown his way to be completed and a passer rating of 94.0.
Campbell started the year in the slot, taking the place of an injured Tre Herndon, and later moved to the boundaries when the Jaguars traded C.J. Henderson to the Carolina Panthers. In the first four weeks of the season, he allowed an 80.7 percent completion rate but he was dealing with a foot injury that eventually forced him to miss two games. Once he returned to the lineup, he fared much better, giving up a completion rate of 60.0 percent from Weeks 9 to 18 and logging a team-high two interceptions.
Jaguars CB Tyson Campbell should keep improving in Year 2
Tyson Campbell showed promise as a rookie but he isn’t the only member of the Jaguars’ 2021 draft class that is expected to make a huge leap this upcoming season. All eyes are on Trevor Lawrence, as the face of the franchise. As a quarterback, fair or not, he will take the spotlight away from other players.
Having said that, the Jags took Campbell with the 33rd pick in last year’s draft because they see him as a playmaker and a player to build around. He made progress once he was healthy and barring serious injury, it’s difficult to see him regress in his sophomore campaign. Defensive coordinator Mike Caldwell has surely studied the young corner’s strengths and weaknesses and will put him in a position to succeed.
The Jaguars signed Darious Williams in free agency to bolster their cornerback room but they will also expect big things from Campbell and veteran Shaquill Griffin. If they all play well, the group could be a strength this upcoming season.