First-round linebacker Jack Campbell signs rookie deal with Lions

Detroit Lions linebacker Jack Campbell goes through drills during Rookie Minicamp Saturday, May 13,
Detroit Lions linebacker Jack Campbell goes through drills during Rookie Minicamp Saturday, May 13, / Kirthmon F. Dozier / USA TODAY NETWORK

As they got OTAs going Tuesday, the Detroit Lions also got a little business done by getting rookie linebacker Jack Campbell signed to his first contract.

Slowly but surely, the Detroit Lions are getting their 2023 draft picks signed. On Tuesday, the day they started full-team voluntary OTAs, the team announced it has signed linebacker Jack Campbell to his rookie deal.

Campbell was of course a somewhat controversial pick in some circles, as it's against the grain to take an off-ball linebacker in the first round (No. 18 overall). But he has all the traits the Lions should and do want in a linebacker, and he'll presumably have every chance to start right away.

Campbell posted 265 tackles, nine for loss, two sacks and four interceptions over his last two seasons at Iowa. Then he tore up the NFL Combine, witha 4.65-second 40-yard dash and the top overall athletic scores among all linebackers as he came in at 6-foot-4 and 249 pounds.

Campbell's rookie deal is a four-year pact, of course with a fifth-year option as a first-round pick. Based on his draft slot, he'll make $14.722 million with a $7.7 million signing bonus.

Jack Campbell embracing the inherent expectations for him

Lions head coach Dan Campbell has already said he expects the former Hawkeye to be ready to roll Day 1. Campbell, as in the Lions' first-round linebacker, is ready to meet those expectations head on.

Speaking at rookie minicamp earlier this month, via Ben Raven of MLive, here's what Campbell said about hitting the next level.

"Obviously, it’s high expectations of me, but everything’s earned,.....all I can do is prepare to the best of my ability and let my talents and everything else take me to where I need to go, and I’m gonna do everything that I can to put this team in the best position to win games. Right now, a lot of people have high expectations on me and that’s all good. I’m just gonna stick to what I know, who I am, and come out here every single day and give them my all.”"

Jack Campbell

After lacking talent and depth there in recent years, the Lions look pretty good at linebacker as Campbell joins Alex Anzalone, Malcolm Rodriguez and Derrick Barnes.

As of Wednesday morning, the Lions have three unsigned draft picks--Jahmyr Gibbs, Sam LaPorta and Brian Branch.

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