Through The Scout’s Eye: Parris Campbell

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INDIANAPOLIS — Chad Henry, an area scout for the Indianapolis Colts who focuses on the Midwest region, discusses what he saw in wide receiver Parris Campbell, the Colts’ second-round (59th-overall) pick in this year’s NFL Draft:

We saw Campbell in a lot of quick stuff at Ohio State. Do you see his role capable of getting broadened at the NFL level?

Henry: “Yeah, absolutely. I mean, obviously you gotta play in the offense that you're in. He did a really good job of doing what they asked him to do, but the key thing for us with this guy is speed. You can really feel it. I think we can do a lot of things with him vertically, but he's a great kid and he's worked really hard. Football's really important to him, so he's already shown improvement as far as multiple routes. We’re looking forward to working with him and expanding his role that way.”

When did you first seem him? Because I think Campbell was mainly in the slot, but when did you watch him and think, ‘Look at this guy. He’d be ideal in Frank Reich’s offense”?

Henry: I’m glad you asked that question, because we started watching the guys last summer and I sent an email to our college coordinator Anthony Coughlan, who's an Ohio State guy, with some very colorful language with apologies to my mother, kids and pastor …”

You can tell us what you said.

Henry: “Basically it was, ‘This guy is really bleep, bleep, bleep, bleep, bleep fast.’ You can use your imagination (laughter). Anyways, I've been really excited about the guy since July, just in terms of the speed, the ball skills. We talked about the opportunity to have explosive plays in our offense and he's the guy that we could really see doing that and, again, add the character on top of it, he's an exceptional character. We're excited about that too but, the very end ... Anthony and I have been joking about it all week that the very end of my email was, ‘We have to get this guy on our team.’”

One of the things Frank has talked about is you guys as a scouting staff learning the schemes and what the coaches want and need. That process has got to be miles ahead of where it was even a year ago.

Henry: “They do a fantastic job. We do a good job too when we bring coaches in. We kind of go over the board, area scouts will bottom-line the guy, talk about anything special or not special character-wise. Then the coaches will just talk to them and say, ‘Here's what we see for this guy.’ Again (with Campbell), just explosive plays. This guy's run after catches is exceptional. He was high school running back. You see that he's really natural with the ball in his hands. I mean there is some plays you can turn on over the past two years where they’re just like, ‘Holy cow,’ and then he runs 4.32 (40-yard dash), it proves it. I mean he brings that dimension that we are looking for in the offense.”

What makes you so confident that Campbell can run the full route tree when you don’t see it on film, because he wasn’t necessarily asked to do that in college?

Henry: “Right. I think that's where you utilize the entire process of scouting where it's like making a cake. You put all the ingredients in and bake it. You start with the film, you say, ‘Wow. This guy's fast,’ and then when he's asked to change direction he's fast doing it, which you see more with the run after than you do with the diversity of routes. And then you watch him at practice, you watch him do some individual drills. You put that in the folder and then you've got an opportunity both with the Combine and the Pro Day where we really saw — and the Combine was awesome; I mean his Combine workout was really good — and he showed you he could do all that stuff. So, you're already excited about the guy because of the speed, the athletic ability and the character combination, and then you see him do it and then you're, like, ‘OK, we can work with this.’”

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