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Atlanta Falcons talk: What is De’Vondre Campbell’s true potential?

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The second-year linebacker has become one of Atlanta’s most exciting players in short order.

Super Bowl LI - New England Patriots v Atlanta Falcons Photo by Elsa/Getty Images

Earlier today, you saw me predict a sack and an interception for De’Vondre Campbell against the Bills. I did that both because I think the Falcons will ask him to spend a lot of time staring down Tyrod Taylor in an intimidating fashion and because Campbell is really good.

You can’t throw a rock online at the moment without hitting a sportswriter breathing heavily over De’Vondre’s excellence thus far in 2017, and he’s unquestionably made the leap from a promising linebacker to a good one in short order.

I heard an offhand rumor before the draft last year that the Falcons might have been considering Campbell earlier than the second round, something that seemed odd at the time given his projected round. The more time I spent learning about him, though, the more the fit made sense. Campbell didn’t lack for the athleticism or physicality or tools to be a great player, he just sometimes made the wrong choice or hesitated. It was easy to see why Dan Quinn might think with a little time in the NFL and coaching, Campbell could be special.

So let’s talk about just how special. I truly believe Campbell can be one of the best linebackers in the entire NFL, and I think he can get there by his third year with the Falcons. He’s just so big, so fast, and so aggressive that he’s impossible to stop at times, and defenders often make their leap in their third season. Campbell’s a special player, and I’m convinced he and Deion Jones are going to make this linebacker corps one of the league’s best, if you’d care to argue they haven’t already.

What’s your take? Once you’ve delivered it, use this as your Saturday night open thread.