Veteran De’Vondre Campbell will be joining the Green Bay Packers defense for the 2021 season, a quality addition to a linebacker group that needs it.
Though Aaron Rodgers, the reigning NFL MVP and current mandatory minicamp absentee, may disagree with regards to the wide receiver corps, there aren’t many notable weaknesses on the Green Bay Packers roster. Linebacker, however, is a clear spot where the franchise has needed help on defense.
Last offseason, Green Bay inked veteran Christian Kirksey to a deal in hopes that he could aid a younger group in their development and be a solid player for them. Instead, the results were lackluster and he was cut loose this offseason. That said, the Packers appear to be employing the same approach for the 2021 NFL season.
On Tuesday as minicamp began, the Packers met with and agreed to sign veteran linebacker De’Vondre Campbell. A 2016 fourth-round pick, Campbell started all 16 games with the Arizona Cardinals last year and has plenty of experience in multiple defensive schemes. Thus, he should provide a strong presence that Green Bay needs.
The Green Bay Packers don’t have a superstar in De’Vondre Campbell but, rather, a steadying presence.
Aside from Campbell, Green Bay has a slew of lower-value options at linebacker. 2020 UDFA Krys Barnes and fifth-round pick Kamal Martin are the expected starters with Oren Burks, a 2018 third-rounder who has dealt with injuries, and Ty Summers (seventh round, 2019) behind them on the depth chart.
While that’s the case, the Packers still need two things with that group: depth and experience. When you have a group of young players, those are two invaluable things to help them move along and potentially develop into every-down players. That’s something Campbell can provide.
To be sure, Campbell has never been a top player at the position. Having said that, he has been around the block a time or two and in multiple locker rooms. That well-traveled experience already can help players like Barnes and Martin become more consistent presences in the middle of the defense. As a result, the Packers will be better off in 2021 and in the long term.