PRO 2019 Rookie Spotlight: Parris Campbell, WR Ohio State

Rookie Spotlight: Parris Campbell, Ohio State University
Height: 6000 (official)
Weight: 205 lbs (official)
Hands: 9 1/2” (official)
Arm: 32 1/4” (official)
40 yard dash: 4.31 (official)
NFL Comparison: Percy Harvin, Curtis Samuel, Tyler Lockett

– elite size/speed combo
– quick yet fluid feet
– can separate on all levels
-special teams proficient

– needs to improve route running
– can lose focus at the point of catch

Scouting Notes: Parris Campbell was the fastest receiver at this year’s Combine(4.31) – It’s crazy to think John Ross was almost a tenth of a second ahead of that 2 years ago. Campbell isn’t just speedy though, he’s silky smooth in his movements so he rarely wastes effort. Key here is that Campbell can maintain his quickness while changing direction, which is necessary to be effective out of the slot – the position he mostly played at Ohio after transitioning from the running back position where he played through high school. His route running was limited to a lot of screens and sweeps, but that’s more of an indictment on Urban Meyer’s system than it is on Campbell’s ability – We won’t see the upper limit of his route-running until he gets to the pros. With this said, he was among our highest-graded WRs of the 2019 class during on-field drills in Indy.

Campbell didn’t enter college with the best hands, but he’s constantly working to improve in that department. This might be more impressive than just having natural ability here, as it shows he’s willing to work hard to improve his game. Surprisingly solid in build for someone with his caliber of wheels, Campbell can hold his own blocking and getting out of the press. He’s resilient after first contact as well, after which he can burst back up to that breakneck pace I’ve mentioned. Campbell is raw compared to some of this year’s elite receiving prospects, but few of his peers have the upside that he possesses. He’s also proficient on special teams, which will go a long way in getting him playing time on the next level.

Fantasy Outlook: Campbell’s speed alone is going to boost his draft stock considerably – Ross went from mid-round prospect to 9th overall pick in a blink of an eye after his shocking 40 time. I feel like we’d seen a lot more of what Ross was capable of than we have with regard to Campbell though. He isn’t the first pretty good Meyer protege with potential to become great in the NFL – Michael Thomas for example. As far as fantasy is concerned, Campbell should be a first-round pick in dynasty leagues (landing spot dependent), as he has potential to be a PPR monster in addition to a big-play receiver of the highest caliber. He’s an unpolished gem who’s primed to shine with the right coaching and opportunities.

NFL Combine Q&A:

process you’re going through: “It’s been a fun process so far. A lot of intangibles, though. Just different meetings, informals, formals with coaches, all the medical things. I think all that stuff is kind of under the rug. You never really know about it coming into it. But I’ve made the adjustment, been able to adjust well and I’ve been doing fine.”

tomorrow big day or you: “Yes, sir. Real big day. I think every day of this week has been a huge day for me, just talking with the coaches, articulating football, but, you know, it’s the grand finale tomorrow for sure.”

big debate about who was faster you or Kendall, you’re going to show it, any thoughts on that: “It’s been the joke all year. So like you said, we’ll be able to tell tomorrow. But I’m just looking to improve my draft stock, run fast. I can guarantee a fast time for myself.”

what are your expectations for 40: “I’m just looking to go in confident, positive. I know I’m a fast player. I know that’s one of my attributes. Just got to be critical about my details and my start. Drive, phase, finish. I’m extremely confident in myself for sure.”

any numbers: “No, I just know it’s going to be fast.”

worried you’re putting too much pressure on yourself: “No, not at all. I think in environments like this with different testing and drills, I think I strive in an environment like this. I think it’ll be good for me. I think it’ll be a positive.”

Parris what happened to T-shirt you were wearing at hotel check-in: “[laughs] I’ve still got it. That was something that I honestly took to heart at first. Throughout the season it kind of faded away as a joke or whatever, but that’s still in the back of my head for sure.”

how much did it bother you when it first happened because you pay attention to that stuff and take pride in your speed: “For sure. Yeah. I mean, just being the player I am, being the person I am, like you said, I take pride in it. So when it first came out, honestly, you know it was kind of maybe they didn’t watch enough film or something. I don’t know. I did take it to heart, but throughout this season I did what I did. I excelled. So I think I turned it into a positive for sure.”

do teams talk to you about position, outside, inside: “Just throughout this process it’s been kind of a little bit of both. They kind of see me as an adjuster, a guy that can go outside and inside. Honestly, I feel comfortable either or. I feel I have experience at both and I feel like at the next level whatever NFL team decides to draft me, they’ll see the best fit for sure.”

feel you haven’t even hit your potential because you haven’t played the position that long: “Most definitely. I think my ceiling is high for the position. I made the transition when I got to college. It was a struggle for me early on but I continued to work, and it got to the place I am now. But definitely I think my ceiling aside, I think I have a lot of potential to still reach for sure.”

is route running the thing you need to work on: “Honestly, I wouldn’t say so just because at Ohio State I wasn’t asked to run a variety of routes, but it’s just playing the H position. But tomorrow, you know, I get a chance to put those outside routes on film, allow those coaches to see them, and I think that’ll be a huge positive for me for sure.”

have you made a deal to have Dwayne throw for you: “Yeah, so every time he sees me, we kind of got a little thing. I mean, it’s probably not going to happen, but we joked about it. Every time I’m up, he has to step up.”

your hands have improved, but I’m sure that’s a question teams have, how much work have you put into improving hands: “I’m extremely confident just from this past season alone I think a lot of my improvement has shown. Just through this whole process I’ve been continuing to work, never lost that, but, you know, once again, tomorrow’s another chance for me to show the improvement, and I’m confident.”

how improve hands, is it just repetition or something else: “Repetition. If you want to jump high, you’ve got to jump. If you want to catch well, you’ve got to catch. But just for myself, I try to replicate those complicated catches, the tough catches, not just standing in front of the JUGs machine. I try to work on over-the-shoulder catches, throw-bys, back shoulders, things of that nature. I just try to make it complicated and try to see the ball from every angle. So that way when I’m in a situation I’ve seen every angle, I’ve seen every catch and it’s just trying to come naturally to me.”

how has accuracy from QB improved your game: “It’s been huge for me. Dwayne and the things he brought to our offense last year it was huge to know just not for myself but all the receivers across the board just being able to have accuracy like he did and when you’re throwing a catchable, on-time ball every single time like he did, it makes things easier for us. He got the ball to us quick and fast and allowed us to do what we do when the ball is in our hands, so it was a huge
credit to him. But he definitely helped guys out for sure.”

from your perspective, moving inside then outside, how has your ability to read defenses evolved at Ohio State: “Tremendously, honestly. Just from this past year working with Coach Hartline, he brought a whole new aspect to my game. He played this great game at the highest level for seven, eight years and excelled at it. So just what he brought back to our receiving room and reading different coverages, whether it’s inside or outside, he just brought a whole new life to it. I’m confident in my ability to read defenses now and just looking for little tells, seeing what different safeties, corners, linebackers are doing just to give me tells. It’s really a credit to him for sure.”

everyone talks about your speed, what do you think are your other traits you want NFL teams to see about you this week: “I think speed No. 1, yeah, for sure. But someone said it early: It’s always been questionable about my hands. But like I said, I’ve put in so much work. I’m so confident in myself, so confident in my hands to where I am today from where I stepped foot on the Ohio State University. It’s a completely different player, a completely different person. Honestly, if that’s a trait that scouts and traits are looking for, then I’m confident tomorrow that they’ll see that and they’ll be reassured that I’m fine.”

in interview room, what’s your sales pitch to teams: “No. 1, I’m coming into every program, no matter what team drafts me, I’m coming in to help the team win. I’m coming in with a leadership mindset, just from what I’ve done in my past, the past couple of years in my career. I’m a guy that’s going to do what you ask of me. I’m going to work hard. I’m not going to say a whole lot. I’m not going to debate. There’s not going to be me asking questions and me pushing away coaches. I’m going to do everything that’s asked of me. I’m going to be a leader, and I’m going to have a great attitude about it. I’m just describing myself because that’s who I am at the end of the day. I’m just a guy that’s going to work hard and do what you ask.”

how much do you enjoy being here with Dwayne, Johnnie and Terry: “It’s fun, man. It’s fun. Me and Johnnie actually trained together down in Arizona, so I see him every day. But I miss the guys, Dwayne, Terry, Isaiah, Mike, Mike Jordan, just all those guys. I just miss being around them. So it’s great to see us all here. That’s a credit to not only the great university of Ohio State but to our coaching staff as well to have so many players at an event like this for sure.”

did first couple years at OSU when you were learning position and it was a rough time, does that drive you now: “It drove me in the past for sure to get to what I am today. But I have kind of moved on from it just ’cause I’m a different player and I’ve grown. But in the past for sure it definitely drove me.”

Browns could use receiving help, cool to stay in Ohio: “It definitely would be cool to stay in Ohio. I’d be an hour up the road. So it would definitely be cool, but any team that takes a chance on me, I’d be honored to go for sure.”

add weight, lose or maintain when training: “So I maintained weight, 205, 206, weighed in at 205 yesterday. But the No. 1 thing that I was working on is body fat, and I lowered my body fat to 4 percent. I got that measured yesterday and put on about 13 pounds of muscle. So my biggest new thing weight-wise is just nutrition. I’m just learning how to eat clean and learning what to put in my body. I think that was a huge positive.”

how do you think your size and speed package will translate to NFL, what’s bigger build going to do for you: “I think it’s going to do a lot for me. I think just with the background I have of playing running back, then playing receiver, I’m able to do a lot of things. I’m not just one type of player. I’m able to line up anywhere in any formation and then to have my speed is kind of rare for a guy to be 205 pounds, running the way that I do and moving the way that I do, so I think it’s a huge positive for me.”

how should NFL teams use you, any kind of routes you think you do better: “Honestly, anything they ask of me I think that I’ll excel at, and as I continue my career, I’m never going to stop working. I’m always going to be working to get better. Whatever they ask, I’m going to be working to become better at that. So I don’t think there’s a limit for me. I think that I can do anything.”

you, Johnnie and Terry overcame obstacles to get here: “It’s huge. I’m getting chilld actually just talking about it, you asking that question, just ’cause I know where each of us came from. We were at the bottom of the fish tank, working, trying to swim out. So just the amount of work that we all put in, the work that we put in together, the grind that we went through, it truly pays off. Just thinking about all the young guys at Ohio State now and the things that they’re going through. It all pays off in the end. To just be here standing here talking to you guys is a huge blessing and a huge honor.”

what want to say to NFL teams about Johnnie on behalf of him: “I want to tell him I told him so because without me I don’t think he would be still in this game. So, no, but really, though, Johnnie, he showed just the exact way to overcome adversity. Literally, he was up and down, injuries left and right, but just the season he had this last season, just imagine if he would’ve walked away. He wouldn’t be the player that he is today. He wouldn’t be the person that he is today. He wouldn’t be here at the combine. I think that would’ve been a regret for him that he would’ve had to live [with] for the rest of his life. He has a newborn daughter now who he’s about to provide for. So everything is just falling in place for him. He kept faith first and just kept pushing, kept grinding. Everything is just falling in place for him. So I’m proud of him, happy for him.”

he just said a little bit ago you pulled him out of quitting, did he do anything like that for you at any point: “Johnnie was always there for me and not necessarily just related to football. it was related to football. I always have a child, a 9-month son, and Johnnie was there for me whenever I needed him ’cause that’s a big task, being a 21-year-old man in college. It’s not the ideal situation, so just talking to Johnnie. Johnnie was always there for me. Johnnie is one of my closest friends, probably my best friend, so yeah, he’s always been there for me.”

what learn from being father in college: “I think the key word right there is just patience. Through it all becoming a father and then also having to deal with the grit and grind of the season, especially at a place like Ohio State, it definitely was a hard task for me but I think the ultimate thing was how I learned to put myself to the side. I have a life to provide for now. I look at my son in the eyes every day and I just go to work ’cause one day he’s going to look up and me and be asking me to go to college somewhere. Who knows if he’s going to have athletic abilities, if he’s going to earn a scholarship? But I have to be able to provide that for him. He’s my motivation. He’s the reason why I wake up in the morning. He’s the reason I do what I do.”

son’s name: “Kai.”

what would it mean to have support system close by if ended up with browns: “It would be huge. I think my mom would love it for sure. I’d be right up the road. She loves it, seeing all my games. But it would be nice, honestly. My family just throughout my entire career has been right by my side, never once failed, never once missed a game, never missed anything. They were just always there for me an they’re the reason I’m the man I am today, the reason I am the player I am today. So it would be huge.”

how influential is your mother in your life: “Man, I’ll be up here for a minute. But she was everything for me. Raised me single-parent home. There was nothing that I ever needed. My mom made sure she provided everything for me. It was tough for her ’cause she was working 9 to 5, so when she was at work, I was with my grandparents, but there was nothing I ever needed. I really owe her everything. It’s the reason I am the man I am today. It’s the reason why I’m standing here today. Just through thick and thin, through the highs, through the lows, she’s just been there to provide for me, and I owe a lot to her.”

her job: “She’s an outreach coordinator for the prosecutor’s office. She’s been there for 25 years. So she’s been working hard, making sure clothes are on my back.”

From the Ohio State Athletic Department:

Ohio State Overview: That career-long 78-yard touchdown play when Parris Campbell took a push pass from Dwayne Haskins in the backfield, raced to the right, turned left near the sideline and blazed past every Michigan defender in the area was a key and perhaps most memorable moment in a record-setting 2018 season for the fifth-year senior and two-time team captain … Campbell was outstanding for the Buckeyes this year, setting a school record with 90 receptions, including 12 touchdown receptions, and becoming only the fifth Buckeye to top 1,000 receiving yards in a season with 1,063 … he was named first-team all-Big Ten by the league’s coaches … his huge year leaves him with career totals of 143 receptions for 1,768 yards to rank seventh and 15th, respectively, in school history plus 15 touchdown receptions to also rank 15th in that category … his huge game against Michigan as a senior included the sixth-most receiving yards in school history – 192 – and the second-best yards per reception average at 32.0 … he scored two touchdowns vs. Michigan and also vs. Tulane and Indiana, and he also topped 100 yards receiving against Tulane (147) and Indiana (142) … he had a career-high 11 catches in his final game – his 48th with 38 starts – as a Buckeye, against Washington in the Rose Bowl … he had nine receptions against both Indiana and Purdue and eight vs. Tulane and Minnesota … he caught at least one pass in his final 27 games played … Campbell started 12 times in 2017 and a total of 12 times as a freshman and sophomore in 2015 and 2016 …he ranked second on the team in 2017 with 40 receptions and first with 584 receiving yards … a fine return specialist, Campbell led the Big Ten in 2016 in kickoff returns (27.8) and he has tied a 52-year-old Ohio State record for career kickoff return average at 30.4 yards per return (Tom Barrington, 1963-65) … Campbell’s 584 return yards in 2016 rank third in Ohio State single season history, and his 149 return yards vs. Indiana in 2016 also rank third … he spent five seasons at Ohio State alongside a high school teammate: Buckeye linebacker Dante Booker.

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