Parris Campbell finished 2019 with 18 receptions for 127 yards and one TD after appearing in just seven games throughout an injury-plagued rookie season. Credit must be given to the young receiver for battling and playing through a hamstring injury, a sports hernia, and a broken hand, before ultimately falling on the IR with a broken foot. The transition from college to the pro game is widely regarded as a difficult conversion for wide receivers.
Despite recent injury concerns, the Ohio State standout entered the league with an impressive resume, earning All-Big Ten honors three times and posting 90 catches for over 1,000 yards and 12 TDs as a Senior. He clocked a 4.31 40-yard dash with 40-inch and 135-inch vertical and broad jumps respectively at the 2019 NFL Scouting Combine. These results scream of his sheer speed and explosiveness, evidenced by this scoring play in which he dusts Logan Ryan rather easily.
— NFL (@NFL) September 15, 2019
While he gave us a very limited sample size last season, it is important to note that Campbell worked his way into the starting lineup by Week 4 and was relied on heavily in games in which teammate and star receive T.Y. Hilton was out injured.
Entering 2020 Parris Campbell looks to be the starting slot receiver for the Colts’ offense. As I wrote about at length in my Jack Doyle profile, the modern-day Philip Rivers enjoys throwing short and keeping the chains moving, averaging just under eight air-yards per attempt. With Campbell primarily working from the slot running short to intermediate outs and crossing routes, coupled with his robust yard-after-catch potential, we have the formula for a potential breakout season.
While a healthy T.Y. Hilton and shiny new rookie Michael Pittman will certainly demand their share of targets on the outside, their presence also takes the attention away from Campbell. When he does get his opportunities, they should be quality opportunities against zone or single coverage, coming from a QB in Rivers who has averaged just under a 66% completion percentage this past decade. However, in what is believed to be an offense with a strong ground game and stout offensive line, Campbell may only see 75 or 80 targets this season.
Campbell is only a late-round wildcard with upside pick in redraft leagues for 2020, but where you will find his real value is in dynasty leagues. With T.Y. Hilton’s future with the team beyond 2020 uncertain and the current QBs on the roster, a player like Campbell appears poised to serve a hefty role in head coach Frank Reich’s offense moving forward. I would rather take a shot on him than players that are going in his range (Marvin Jones, Matt Breida, Sony Michel, Anthony Miller, etc.).
When you consider the athleticism, the draft capital, the college production, and the admittedly limited action we saw in 2019, Parris Campbell is a player that I perceive to be on the rise.
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