The Atlanta Falcons drafted Minnesota linebacker De’Vondre Campbell with their fourth-round (115th overall) selection in the 2016 NFL Draft, adding more help at a talent-depleted position group after already picking up LSU linebacker Deion Jones in the second round.
Campbell brings a bit more size to the table than the 222-pound Jones, measuring in at 6’4” and 232 pounds at February’s Combine. His longer arms (33⅝ inches), coupled with speed and athleticism makes him a potential candidate to play weak-side linebacker as well in the Falcons defensive scheme. Campbell blazed a 4.58-second 40-yard dash at the Combine, the third fastest among linebackers. His 7.07-second three-cone drill that he posted at his pro day would have ranked among the top five among linebackers at the Combine as well.
Campbell was a productive two-year starter at weak-side linebacker at Minnesota the past few years after transferring from Hutchinson Community College in Kansas. At Hutchinson, Campbell recorded 83 tackles, eight tackles for loss, 3.5 sacks, one interception returned for a touchdown and four pass breakups in his lone season there before moving onto Minnesota as a sophomore.
That season he played in every game, making three starts while posting 41 tackles, three for loss and one pass breakup. As a junior he assumed the starting spot on the weak side and made 13 starts there. He finished the year with 75 tackles, 6.5 for loss, 2.5 sacks, one interception returned for a touchdown, one pass breakup and three fumble recoveries. As a senior, he started 11 games and posted career-highs of 92 tackles and four sacks. He also added 6.5 tackles for loss, three pass breakups, an interception and a forced fumble.
Campbell was honored on the Academic All-Big Ten team during his junior year and was a named honorable mention as part of the All-Big Ten team during his senior season.