The Detroit Lions have selected Iowa linebacker Jack Campbell with the 18th overall pick in the 2023 NFL Draft.
My grade: C+
With the Lions’ first selection of Jahmyr Gibbs setting a disappointing tone for the night, many were quick to call this pick a dud. I’m not thrilled about it, but I don’t hate it. It’s fine.
There was a lot of talk this offseason of people who thought the Lions may not touch a linebacker during the entire draft. I was always in the opposite camp; I think the Lions are an injury away from clamoring for a highly-selected linebacker in 2024. There’s no guarantee of Alex Anzalone or Malcolm Rodriguez continuing their highs from 2023, nor of their health. Beyond that, linebacker is one of the most volatile positions in football when it comes to quality of play.
If something were to happen to a starter, who could the Lions rely on? Jalen Reeves-Maybin, who’s a couple years older and a couple steps slower than when we all last saw him play? A special teamer?
Not every pick can be for a need, and this addresses a position that looked shiny on the surface but wasn’t as pretty as the starting lineup indicates. I’m warming up to the selection and I think this is a really ideal situation for Jack Campbell to come into and develop in. That said, I’m still a tad averse to the positional value and how much it cost the Lions to get him.
I would have liked the pick a lot better as a high day two pick, and that’s why I knock this down to a C+.
What grade do you give the Lions for the Jack Campbell pick?
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