NFL teams ponder Campbell's value in the draft

For the second straight year, Maryland has the wild-card entry in the first round of the NFL draft.

A year after wide receiver Darrius Heyward-Bey rocketed to the seventh pick off a sizzling 40-yard sprint at the combine, offensive tackle Bruce Campbell leaped into the first-round conversation with a spectacular workout at the NFL combine.

And like last year, when the Oakland Raiders are the team reported to be most enamored of Campbell, a chiseled, 6-foot-6, 314-pounder who had an unofficial 40-yard dash time of 4.75 seconds in Indianapolis in February.

But opinions on Campbell are widely varied. Some mock drafts suggest he could go to Oakland on the eighth overall pick, while most evaluations have him going considerably lower, into the second round.

"The way I look at him, and the way the majority of the league looks at him, is he's an exciting developmental offensive tackle prospect that could get overdrafted because of his physical prowess at the combine," said Mike Mayock, draft analyst for NFL Network.

"His [game] tape is not as good as his workouts. He's not a good run blocker, but he's got the potential to be a really good pass blocker because of his size. You don't want to give him first-round money and have the pressure of playing him from Day 1."

Todd McShay of ESPN and Scouts Inc. is less generous in his assessment.

"Unless the Raiders make a mistake on him, he's not going in the first round," McShay said. "Bruce Campbell is not a great football player, not a first-round football player. If he goes in the first round, then some team has made a mistake on the workout."

Campbell, 22 in May, played only 27 career games for the Terps with just 17 starts, all at left tackle. What's more, he played without distinction. After a promising sophomore season in 2008, he missed three games in 2009 with toe and knee injuries and did not merit even honorable mention on the All-Atlantic Coast Conference team.

"He really played in a lot of pain this past season," Tom Brattan, Campbell's line coach at Maryland, said. "In the eyes of his peers, that's what they thought" about postseason honors.

"Bruce has great motivation," Brattan said. "He will do whatever it takes to get better. He lives in the weight room, wants to do well and doesn't bring a lot of baggage to the table.

"If you draw me a left tackle, you would draw me Bruce Campbell. But at the same time, football is a game played on the field, not the weight room. Bruce is somewhere inbetween there."

Somewhere between the first and second round, too.

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