One of the most startling developments in last week's NFL draft was the precipitous fall of Maryland offensive tackle Bruce Campbell.
Pegged by some draft observers to go in the first round, Campbell fell all the way to the fourth round, where he was drafted by the Raiders, a team some expected to take him in the first.
The 6-6, 314-pound Campbell's stock soared at the NFL scouting combine, where he ran a blazing (for an offensive tackle) 4.85 in the 40-yard dash. And while skeptics noted that Campbell didn't appear as prolific on game film as he did in the pre-draft workouts, it still doesn't explain why he fell so far.
Perhaps this will: According to two sources familiar with Campbell's situation, he has a severe learning disability that caused many teams to drop him on their draft boards. The biggest concern at the NFL level is that Campbell would have difficulty absorbing game plans and learning new technique. Thus, the stunning fall that saw Campbell go from potential top-10 pick to the 106th overall pick.
The fact that he has the learning disability doesn't mean Campbell can't develop into a productive NFL player; in fact, it's not unusual for offensive linemen to be drafted in the fourth round — or even lower — and turn into fine players. What the drop means is that teams were unwilling to invest the money that a higher-round pick would command because of the risk presented by his situation.