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Former Falcon, pass rush teacher Chuck Smith has high praise for De'Vondre Campbell

One of the team's great pass rushers likes his pupil.

Jim Dedmon-USA TODAY Sports

It's apparently De'Vondre Campbell week here at The Falcoholic, because we're writing about him again this morning. Please fasten your seatbelts.

Today's read comes to us via the mothership and handsome former Falcoholic reporter Andrew Hirsh, who chatted with Chuck Smith about Campbell. Smith spent time with Campbell in the run-up to the draft and has been pretty vocal about how much he likes the young linebacker's game, but he happily reiterated it here, and I think you'll like what he has to say.

He can play any one of those linebacker positions. And as he continues to develop and grow, he can one day be a pass rusher who can put his hand down (in the dirt). So when you really look at him, he’s a guy who puts in hard work, can rush and has grit, and I just think his versatility makes him the kind of player they were looking for. He also has the build. I know what Thomas (Dimitroff) was looking for—he was looking for length. And De’Vondre has that.

[...]

Overall, I think he’ll have an impact, and I think a lot of that can be on special teams. He can be a great special teams player. I think he’ll be able to cover off the ball right now. Is he ready to go out and get 10 sacks like John Abraham or the great Claude Humphrey? I don’t know. But he can make an impact on special teams, base defense and even in the nickel defense.

You're going to see special teams mentioned and instinctively lurch away from this article, but it's worth remembering that the Falcons truly prize fine special teams play, and that Campbell seems to legitimately be in the running for a starting gig. What Smith is saying, over and over, is that Campbell is extremely bright, hard-working, and physically gifted. He may not pan out, for all that, but certainly having those attributes increases the chances that he'll become a player worth celebrating.

We apologize for hyping Campbell up all week, and hope he'll make this hype seem justified when the fall rolls around. We're just excited, is all.