Jaguars CB Tyson Campbell makes B/R's 2023 All-Underpaid Team

Jacksonville Jaguars cornerback Tyson Campbell (32) runs during a catching exercise during day 4 of
Jacksonville Jaguars cornerback Tyson Campbell (32) runs during a catching exercise during day 4 of / Corey Perrine/Florida Times-Union / USA

The Jacksonville Jaguars have added several playmakers to both sides of the ball over the last two years. Trevor Lawrence is without a doubt their best offensive player but they also have several young building blocks on defense. The best of the bunch might be third-year cornerback Tyson Campbell, who made an appearance in Bleacher Report's All-Underpaid Team.

Brad Gannon of Bleacher Report put together a team of underpaid players — many of them on their rookie deal — and gave the cornerback slots to Patrick Surtain and Tyson Campbell, noting that Sauce Gardner was outstanding as a rookie but wants to see him perform well another year.

"Sauce Gardner of the New York Jets is an obvious one here but he was a rookie while dominating in 2022. Let's give him one more year. At least Surtain was awesome as both a rookie and a sophomore. His deal averaging $5.4 million a year ranks 38th at the position now, but he's in for a huge extension in 2024 or 2025. Meanwhile, Campbell is a miniature version of that case after a highly-graded breakout sophomore year with Jacksonville. His average annual salary of $2.3 million ranks 72nd at the position."

Campbell, a second-round pick in 2021, struggled early as a rookie but improved as the year went on. One reason for his improvement was that he started the season in the slot but eventually moved outside. The former Georgia Bulldog was even better last season, allowing just 9.9 yards per reception and giving up a 58.5 percent completion rate when targeted. Moreover, his 80.8 Pro Football Focus overall grade ranked best among cornerbacks last year.

One interesting tidbit about Campbell is that he was left out of PFF's top-10 cornerback ranking despite the fact that he had the seventh-best mark at the position according to their own grading system! The good news is that Campbell is getting lots of recognition ahead of the 2023 season. Seth Walder of ESPN believes he's the 49th-best player in the league regardless of the position (paywall) and Pete Prisco included him as an honorable mention in his top 100 list of players.

Campbell was the only Jaguar to make the All-Underpaid team though. Trevor Lawrence might have arguably been a better pick than Justin Herbert and Travis Etienne was a worthy candidate for the running back slot but Austin Ekeler ended up getting the nod. Either way, Lawrence and Etienne surely deserve the underpaid label.

The Jaguars have a building block in CB Tyson Campbell

There's no doubt Campbell is underpaid but that's mostly true for players on their rookie deals that exceed expectations. However, he'll be eligible for an extension after this season. Since he was drafted in the second-round pick, his contract doesn't include a fifth-year option. Although he won't be a free agent until 2025, the Jaguars should strongly consider engaging in contract talks as soon as possible (next year) to check off one box of their to-do list.

You could argue that 2025 is still two years away but time flies and one of the reasons the Jaguars opted to take a conservative approach in free agency this past offseason is because they know they have to pay their young players. Trevor Lawrence is most likely at the top of the list but Campbell is certainly a priority too and the last thing they want is to have a contract impasse with one of their building block.

And that's the thing, the current regime values their players and it's hard to picture them not trying to lock up Campbell before his contract expires.

Campbell is expected to get better in Year 3 and if he does, not only will he start to get accolades but the Jacksonville Jaguars will reward him with a contract extension that accurately reflects his value as one of the top young cornerbacks in the league.

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