Round 1, Pick 18: Jack Campbell, LB, Iowa
Detroit continued to throw the positional value chart in the trash by selecting an off-ball linebacker with the 18th overall pick. Just six picks after the Gibbs selection, the NFL world officially was confused by the Lions’ draft plan.
As for Campbell, he was pretty clearly among the top linebacker prospects, with Detroit obviously viewing him as the top option. He is rangy, good in coverage, and instinctive, but above all else, he is very athletic.
To start off Campbell will likely serve as the primary backup to Alex Anzalone, and will earn more snaps as his rookie season progresses. The hope is by his sophomore season he is firmly established as the starting MIKE linebacker for the Lions going forward.
Like Gibbs, the issue with this pick has nothing to do with the player, just the value of the position. Campbell should be a good player, but he will have to become a great one for this pick to reach its value.