Name the tight end, and that player probably had a career game against the Falcons. Ben Watson. Zach Miller. Cameron Brate. Levine Toilolo could probably catch 200+ yards and 3 touchdowns against the Atlanta defense.
But can the raw De'Vondre Campbell put an end to this?
According to my scouting report roundup after he was drafted, it could happen. The good: Campbell is an athletic specimen. He is a monster. 6-foot-4, 232-pounds, and a blazing 4.58 40 is nuts for a linebacker. He has the size, length, and speed to deal with the elite tight ends in the league. Just not the experience.
As is expected, Campbell made some splash plays in college. The ones that make him look like he can be a Pro Bowler.
New #Falcons LB De'Vondre Campbell has been working on pass-rush skills. Here he is on a delayed blitz last year. pic.twitter.com/dd3mxuQcEd— Knox Bardeen (@knoxbardeen) May 5, 2016
He has made other plays that showed his inexperience. He is a great example of the high-ceiling, low-floor player that Thomas Dimitroff has previously been so reluctant to draft.
The Atlanta Falcons official website suggests that Campbell could fix the tight end problem.
Quinn elaborated on how Campbell’s arm length and overall size will benefit Atlanta’s defense, especially when facing a team with a tall tight end, something the Falcons seemingly struggled with last year. "Length can make up for some height so it’s his length that allows him to cover some of the taller guys," Quinn explained. "It’s not an advantage when you’re playing against the 5’0 or 5’10 running back like Devonta Freeman. It’s the advantage when you’re playing against the tall tight ends like Jacob Tamme, where you’re able to match on some routes."
The team has not had a linebacker with both the size and speed needed to slow down tight ends. With a little work, Campbell could be that player.