31 March 2012
The Panthers were expected to deal one of their running backs this off-season and earlier today they did just that by trading Mike Goodson to the Oakland Raiders in exchange for offensive tackle Bruce Campbell.
Goodson was the most expandable running back on the roster because while he's a solid player, DeAngelo Williams, Jonathan Stewart and Mike Tolbert have more value to the team right now. Aside from kickoff returns, Goodson would not get much playing time in Carolina next season, so trading him now makes perfect sense, especially with the team having other needs.
The question is who is Bruce Campbell and how can he help the Panthers? We'll explore that after the jump.
Campbell was taken in the fourth round of the 2010 NFL Draft and is quite a physical specimen. He is 6'6, weighs in at 315 lbs. and some NFL scouts thought he would be selected in the Top 10 of the draft. He was even hyped as a player who would "redefine the tackle position" to an extent because of his size, strength and athleticism. He had a very successful college career at the University of Maryland and it was thought that he would be a stud at the NFL level.
Despite this billing, Campbell was taken in the fourth round and has never lived up to the hype. He has yet to start a game in the NFL and was primarly used in a rotation role by the Raiders during his two years in the NFL. Tom Cable even moved him to guard when he was the head coach in 2010, but Hue Jackson moved Campbell back to tackle last season. Still, Campbell played in only four games last season but the Raiders had one of the better offensive lines in the league then so I imagine that it was hard for him to find a starting spot on the roster. However, something that worries me a little bit is that in the year he played 10 games, the Raiders offensive line was one of the worst in the NFL at giving up sacks. Not that it was completely his fault, but I just think that is worth mentioning.
Overall, it looks like the Panthers got themselves an offensive lineman with a lot of potential but still hasn't quite developed yet. Campbell is still only 23 and will probably learn a thing or two from guys like Jordan Gross and Jeff Otah, so it is possible that he can turn into a useful player in Carolina. One of the knocks on Campbell coming out of the draft was that his blocking technique was very sloppy and that he had very little experience as a starter. It is possible that he can develop into a possible starter but it will probably take a lot of work.
That being said, the Panthers needed depth at offensive tackle with Otah's injury concerns and Campbell also has experience playing as a guard, too. Goodson had little value to the organization after the Tolbert trade, so trading him for someone that might be able to help a position of need is not a bad move, especially with the team having little cap room.
Check out this video to see some examples of what Campbell can do.
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