Parris Campbell rocketed up draft boards with his impressive NFL combine showing.
The electric playmaker out of Akron, Ohio traveled to Indianapolis well known for his speed and ability to break big plays, but he needed to showcase sure hands in receiving drills to turn heads.
That's exactly what he did.
Campbell tied the fastest 40-yard-dash time among wide receivers with a blazing 4.31 (as well as the 20-yard shuttle), ranked fifth in the vertical jump and third in the broad jump.
But it was his work when the ball was in the air that impressed.
— The Checkdown (@thecheckdown) March 2, 2019
It was the kind of showing that drastically changed the way NFL teams evaluated him. This, from Steve Smith Sr. of NFL.com, sums it up nicely.
This kid showed out in every aspect. It was like he walked into Lucas Oil Stadium and proclaimed his excellence before doing a thing: "My name is Parris Campbell. Beware." From his unbelievable 4.31-second 40-yard dash time (tied for the fastest among receivers) to his precise route running, the 6-foot, 205-pound Ohio State product proved he didn't just have speed but that his versatility will allow his game to translate to the next level. Campbell's remarkable combine performance will move him up the boards and give him momentum heading into Ohio State's pro day on March 20.
With Ohio State's pro day set for Wednesday, Campbell has the opportunity to secure a first-round projection in the upcoming NFL draft.
Ascending to the status of a prized draft prospect was a long hill to climb. His career started disastrously, on a national stage no less, when he dropped his first target (which would have been a walk-in touchdown) against Virginia Tech in Blacksburg, Virginia.
Campbell was known more for his gaffes than his playmaking ability through two seasons, but that changed when Ryan Day joined the Ohio State coaching staff. In 2017, Campbell hauled in 40 catches for 584 yards and three scores in what turned out to be a sign of things to come in 2018.
During his final season in Columbus, Campbell snagged a team-high 90 catches for 1,063 yards (which ranks fifth in school history) and 12 touchdowns. He proved he's more than just a guy who tries to break jet sweeps and bubble passes for long gains.
And ahead of the Buckeyes' pro day, he's aiming to leave a final, lasting impression on the NFL scouts in attendance. And he knows he has the ability to make waves at the next level.
"To have my speed, I think it’s kind of rare for a guy to be 205 pounds running the way I do and moving the way I do," Campbell said at the combine. He later added, "I put in so much work, I’m so confident in myself, so confident in my hands."
Bleacher Report's Matt Miller projected Campbell as an early second-round pick to Jacksonville in his post-Super Bowl mock draft. That was before he tore up the NFL Combine, and with one more chance to showcase his skillset at Ohio State's pro day, he could break his way into a first-day selection.