Parris Campbell
Is Parris Campbell a gimmick or superstar? Nobody knows. It’s one of the best questions heading into the 2019 NFL Draft (AP Photo/Darron Cummings)

The 2019 NFL Draft is filled with intrigue at the wide receiver spot. It’s kind of like going out to a bar to find someone to bring home. There is a different flavor available for whatever you’re looking for. Ohio State wide receiver, Parris Campbell is the ultimate wildcard. Is Campbell a gimmick or superstar in the making? Nobody really knows for sure.

We hear this phrase a lot in the NFL; “Just get the ball in his hands”. That phrase is the epitome of Parris Campbell. I don’t think there’s any question that Campbell is the most electric player to watch in the open field in the draft class. The things he does with the ball is just stupid but in a good way.

I mean c’mon. That’s just stupid. Humans should not be able to do that. There’s almost a Tyreek Hill to his game. Crazy speed, ability to hit the home run ball, and almost plays in a sort of glorified running back spot. The latter statement is the key to Campbell’s development. Campbell can’t be just a guy who takes a couple jet sweeps and calls it a day. If that’s the case, then you’re reaching for a Tavon Austin and nobody wants that.

Campbell was never used as a traditional receiver. He played that Curtis Samuel role. For those who have been following me know, I loved Curtis Samuel. He turned out to be a gimmick player because he never could make it as a true receiver. Samuel could end up being a horrible warning for what’s to come if you overdraft Campbell.

While Campbell’s college production is fantastic. (91 catches, 1,071 yards, 12 touchdowns, and a 139.2 passer rating when targeted) 49 of those catches came within 2 yards of the line of scrimmage. Yikes. Only 13 catches came 10 yards down the field. The funny thing is he helped Dwayne Haskins a lot. Campbell’s crazy after the catch numbers are somehow linked to his quarterback creating a very weird dynamic.

If Campbell wants to be more like Tyreek Hill and less like Curtis Samuel, Campell needs to become a complete receiver that wins routes downfield. While we don’t know if he can do those things, he also wasn’t asked to at Ohio State. Campbell never faced any sort of press coverage and worked exclusively from the slot. The only thing we can point to is his freakish athletic traits and hope he can put it all together. From what we saw the combine, everyone should be very encouraged.

While Parris never showed an ability to run a defined route tree in college, he looked very good doing so at the combine. Is Parris just a gimmick or does he have superstar potential? It’s one of the best questions heading into the 2019 NFL Draft.