Second day with the first pick: Jaguars select Georgia's Tyson Campbell in second round
The Jaguars stuck with speed for the first of their two second-round draft picks on Friday – and got a versatile defensive back who can be used in multiple way.
Cornerback Tyson Campbell of the University of Georgia got the call on the first selection of the second round, giving the Jags a burner (he ran 4.36 in the 40-yard dash on the Bulldogs’ pro day and has run a 10.38 100-meters in high school track) and someone who can be plugged in on the outside, as a slot defender in a nickel defense and even at safety -- which he played in high school at Plantation American Heritage.
"I feel like I can do it all,” said Campbell, who played for coach Patrick Surtain, and played with Patrick Surtain II, a cornerback at Alabama and was selected by Denver in the first round. “I do enjoy playing corner, with my athletic ability and my knowledge of the game. I could play inside or safety if needed.”
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Campbell (6 feet 1, 193 pounds) was in on 29 tackles, broke up six passes and had one interception last year for the Bulldogs. It was his only interception in college.
Campbell played at TIAA Bank Field in two games against the Florida Gators, making five tackles in 2018 and three last season.
"This past year we lost in there but the other two years have been good to me. I enjoy playing in that stadium. It was always good to come home to the Sunshine state when I was in Athens."
Campbell said getting drafted by the Jaguars was “a surreal feeling … it's an opportunity to stay in home state where family won't have too far a drive to come."
Jaguars coach Urban Meyer recruited Campbell from the time he was a sophomore in high school and said the team is getting a multi-talented defender.
“He’s a very good tackler, can blitz … one of the reasons we took him is his flexibility,” Meyer said.
Campbell said he remembers the day he met Meyer, who was the Ohio State coach at the time, at a football camp at Florida International University.
In re-telling the story, Campbell made sure to emphasize a key word.
“We hit it off from there,” Campbell said. “I didn't choose ‘THE’ Ohio State but we got along well. It all played out perfectly."
The Jags took Florida cornerback CJ Henderson in the first round, with the ninth overall pick, last year. The last time the franchise drafted cornerbacks in either the first or second round in back-to-back seasons was 1998 (Cordell Taylor, Hampton, second round) and 1999 (Fernando Bryant, Alabama, first round).
The Jags drafted three cornerbacks last season (fourth-round pick Josiah Scott and seventh-rounder Chris Claybrooks are still on the roster). They also recently extended the contract of Tre Herndon.
Meyer said selecting Campbell shouldn’t be construed as any concerns about Henderson, who struggled at times last year after a fast start, and then missed the last seven games with a groin injury.
“C.J. is doing great,” Meyer said. “He’s been very positive.”
Meyer also pointed out that the Jags now have three corners -- Campbell, Henderson and free agent signee Shaq Griffin -- who are all in the neighborhood of 6-1, with speed to burn.
"We've got three 6-foot or taller, with length and speed," he sdaid. "A lot of versatility."