New York Jets news, commentary and insider info from beat writer Kimberley A. Martin.
Jets take DT/OL Campbell in 6th Rd
The Jets drafted another defensive tackle in this year's draft: Michigan's William Campbell. But the former Wolverine will end up playing on the opposite side of the ball in the NFL.
The Jets announced Campbell will officially be listed as an offensive lineman on the roster, but most likely will be used at guard. And now, he joins fellow 2013 draft picks Brian Winters, Oday Aboushi and free-agent Stephen Peterman in the Jets' growing contigent of offensive linemen.
Campbell (6-5, 308) said on a conference call that he had three private workouts with teams prior to the draft -- one at defensive tackle, the other two at guard. He moved to offensive line during Michigan's 2010 season, but switched back to defensive tackle before the start of the Wolverines' 2011 campaign. In all, he made 11 starts at DT in 51 consecutive games.
Said NFL.com's Gil Brandt: "There's a feeling he might be a better offensive line prospect than D-lineman in the NFL."
College scouting director Jeff Bauer quickly realized that when he visited the school this past fall.
"As I was visiting with the coaches there, one of the coaches said, 'You see him as a defensive tackle, he’s a big guy, plays hard, he’s physical. He’s not the most gifted pass rusher, not a lot of plays behind the line of scrimmage.' He said, 'You know, this guy really is going to do best as an offensive guard,' and that stuck with me," said Bauer.
"And obviously having Brandon Moore from the Big 10, he did and how long he played and was so good for us, playing offensive guard, it stuck in my mind. We sent our offensive line coach Mike Devlin out to work him out and Mike loved him. Smart kid, worked hard and we really thought he was going to be a good fit. He’s done both and he’s excited for the change."
And now Campbell's eager to "play like a Jet."
Depending on who you ask -- Rex Ryan, his players, or even Jets fans -- there are different descriptions of what 'Play Like a Jet' truly means. But for Campbell, it's simple.
"From what I’ve seen, it’s playing for your teammates, playing for one-another, to come together as one for a bigger goal," he said.