The Jacksonville Jaguars are surely expecting big things from their 2021 NFL Draft class. Most of the attention is rightfully centered around quarterback Trevor Lawrence. However, there are other second-year players on the Jags’ roster that have the potential to become building blocks, including cornerback Tyson Campbell, who was recently named the Jags’ best-kept secret.
Gary Davenport of Bleacher Report recently identified each NFL team’s best-kept secret and he believes Campbell is the Jaguars’. Davenport notes that the former Georgia Bulldog struggled early as a rookie but played better as the season progressed. He goes on to say that Campbell will build off a promising season and continue his progression in 2022.
"Heading into his second season, Campbell should be able to focus on getting better on the outside, as the Jaguars signed Darious Williams in the offseason to man the slot. Given the improvement that Campbell showed as a rookie and a full offseason to continue his progression, Campbell has a real chance of playing a major role in an improved Jacksonville defense in 2022."
Campbell started the 2021 season in the slot but moved to the boundaries when the team traded C.J. Henderson to the Carolina Panthers after Week 3. Lining up outside certainly helped the young corner perform better but it’s important to note that he also dealt with a toe injury that forced him to miss a couple of games. Once he came back, his play got significantly better. From Week 9 onwards, Campbell allowed an adequate 60.3 percent completion rate and snagged a team-high two interceptions.
Jaguars CB Tyson Campbell should pick up where he left off
Tyson Campbell is a good example of why it’s not a good idea to overreact to a small sample. Back in the preseason, he struggled to defend the pass and had trouble tracking the ball. He wasn’t much better at the beginning of the year, which raised questions about the Jaguars’ decision to pick him 33rd overall in last year’s draft.
But Campbell progressively got better, which made those questions look silly in retrospect. In fact, the pick looks even better now, as cornerback didn’t seem like a pressing need in the draft but Jacksonville chose him anyway. You have probably heard that teams should take talent over need and that’s precisely what the Jaguars did with Campbell.
Despite the fact that Jacksonville signed Darious Williams in free agency, Campbell’s role won’t change much in 2022. In fact, he’s a good bet to start the regular season opposite Shaquill Griffin when the Jags face off against the Washington Commanders in Week 1.
Cornerback seems like a position of strength for the Jaguars ahead of the 2022 season and if Campbell keeps progressing, he and Jacksonville will get more national media attention.