NY Jets’ wide receiver George Campbell is a longshot to make the roster, but he could still find success in 2020.
The NY Jets signed their fair share of interesting undrafted free agents this offseason and while a few have a pretty good chance of making the final roster, George Campbell is someone who’s been overlooked to this point.
The attention has primarily gone to undrafted edge rusher Bryce Huff or even fellow undrafted receiver Lawrence Cager, but no rookie the Jets signed entered the collegiate landscape with as much hype as Campbell.
A former five-star recruit and once the No. 1 athlete in the country back in 2015, Campbell originally signed on with Florida State where he was expected to be the future of the Seminoles offense.
Unfortunately, injuries absolutely decimated his career and he finished with just 13 catches over four years at FSU. He would transfer to West Virginia as a graduate transfer in 2019 where he would actually find some moderate success.
Campbell finished the year with 19 catches for 469 and seven touchdowns. Yes, you read that right. Nearly 40 percent of his receptions went for touchdowns and he averaged an insane 24.7 yards/catch that would have led the FBS if he had enough catches to qualify.
Campbell clearly has the raw talent to succeed, but how could he ensure his success with the Jets in 2020.
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How George Campbell can find success with the NY Jets in 2020
On the surface, it might appear that Campbell is one of the more highly-touted undrafted free agents that the Jets signed. But his high-school fame has all but faded as he wasn’t invited to the Combine or either college all-star game.
He’s essentially an unknown and his measly $2,500 signing bonus is the second-lowest on the team indicating his longshot odds of making the roster.
But let’s take a look at what Campbell does well.
His incredible blend of size and speed is what originally got him noticed coming out of high school. At 6-foot-4, 183 pounds, Campbell ran a blazing 4.35 40-yard dash at his unofficial Pro Day.
Any time you post numbers like that at that size, you’re going to get noticed. However, his agility figures were unremarkable indicating that he’s more of a straight-line runner.
On tape, his playstyle is reminiscent of a very raw version or Robby Anderson. He’s fast and tall but lacks physicality at the top of top routes. But he has no trouble running streaks and taking the top off of opposing defenses.
Unfortunately, that’s about the only route he runs well.
Campbell was sparingly used as anything other than a deep threat in college and his route-running remains incredibly unpolished. Rarely would he get actual separation on his routes instead opting for schematic touches to get his yards.
One area of his game that is an improvement over Anderson, however, is his ability to create yards after the catch. When not running go routes, a lot of his yardage came on dump-offs where he turned short passes into long gains.
But if Campbell is going to make the roster, it isn’t going to be because of his abilities on offense. It’s going to be because of his special-teams work.
If there is one area that Campbell has an advantage over fellow receivers such as Cager or Josh Docston, it’s with his usage on special teams. Campbell was a key part of West Virginia’s special teams unit in 2019 being used in a multitude of different ways.
From being used in kick and punt coverage to rushing punts to even being utilized as a blocker on kick returns, Campbell played in every facet of special teams. And he did so effectively totaling five tackles in 2019 and recovering a muffed punt as a gunner.
His worth ethic was praised by his coaching staff and it’s his special teams versatility that could allow him to steal a roster spot.
Ultimately, 2020 will be a success for Campbell if he could, at the very least, earn his way on to the practice squad. A spot on the final roster isn’t impossible, but it might take an injury or two for it to happen.
Speaking of injuries, he also has to prove that 2019 wasn’t a fluke and stay healthy.
If he could do that and impress on special teams, George Campbell might just be able to make an impact with the Jets this season.