The Dallas Cowboys do not have a first-round pick this year; that is well documented. However, you know Jerry Jones, Stephen Jones, and Will McClay had their eyes open while identifying talent during the 2019 NFL Scouting Combine in Indianapolis.
From Dallas native Kyler Murray being the talk of the combine early on to D.K. Metcalf and Montez Sweat blowing up social media over the weekend, there was no shortage of news and storylines from Lucas Oil Stadium. While Dallas won’t be in the market for any of those three, there were more than a few players that improved their draft stock.
Ohio State’s Parris Campbell is one of those. The electrifying wide receiver was overshadowed by the talent in Columbus during his collegiate career, but Campbell has turned heads during the pre-draft process at the Senior Bowl and then again at the NFL Combine.
It can be argued how much of a need wide receiver is for the Dallas Cowboys. They made the move for Amari Cooper and 2018 third-rounder Michael Gallup looked to be coming into his own by the end of the season; however, the likely departure of Cole Beasley, the uncertainty surrounding Allen Hurns, and the question marks at the tight end spot (even with Jason Witten), makes it important to find another weapon for Dak Prescott.
With the Cowboys having to wait until pick 58, we can likely go ahead and cancel out a handful of wideouts. Metcalf, A.J. Brown, N’Keal Harry, Kelvin Harmon, and Deebo Samuel will all more-than-likely be off the board when the Cowboys finally come on the clock in Nashville.
Parris Campbell has been rising up draft boards lately, thanks in large part to his game-breaking speed and the potential that he can add to an offense at the next level. The former four-star recruit from the same high school that LeBron James graduated from came on very strong this past season after three mostly quiet seasons under Urban Meyer.
Campbell had a career season with the Buckeyes in 2018, grabbing 90 passes (Ohio State single-season record) for 1,063 yards and 12 touchdown receptions. Some of the jump in production can be attributed in the upgrade at quarterback, as Dwayne Haskins was behind center for Ohio State last season. Some of it can also be attributed in Campbell’s improvement in scarlet and gray.
I keep watching Dwayne Haskins trying to see what I’m missing. He’s alright. A little stiff for me. But this Parris Campbell. Lord have mercy. How is he not viewed as a first rounder? Reminds me of a faster Anquan Boldin. pic.twitter.com/rIOaiFxDeU— Omar Kelly (@OmarKelly) February 25, 2019
The reason for Campbell’s rise in draft circles is speed. Campbell’s game speed is evident: flying past defenders on his way to the end zone time and time again. Then, the Ohio State product backed up his speed with a 4.31 40-yard dash, good for best among wide receivers in Indy and third best overall.
The Buckeyes are used to having speed in their offense. You don’t have to go far back to see Curtis Samuel also registering a 4.31 and making big play after big play. Interestingly enough, Campbell averaged more yards per catch and yards per play from scrimmage than the current Carolina Panthers weapon.
Media: “Your 40 yard dash time was impressive today. Have you ever run faster than that?”— Arrogant Ryan Day (@ArrogantBuckeye) March 3, 2019
Parris Campbell: LOL pic.twitter.com/Ur1bSccpm1
To go along with impressive speed, Campbell also turned in an impressive 40-inch vertical leap and 11’3” broad jump, displaying his natural athleticism that should help him succeed on the next level.
The Cowboys want to get more creative, and they hope the promotion of Kellen Moore to offensive coordinator and the hiring of Jon Kitna as quarterback coach will help them do just that. It is also no secret that this franchise is all-in on Dak Prescott. So, what better way of helping him out than by surrounding him with talented game-breakers with electric speed?