Calais Campbell was that guy in high school.
The all-around athlete with the varsity jacket filled patches that flashed everything from All-State basketball power forward with a Colorado 4th best 22.7 points a game, 3rd best 3.3 blocks and state-leading 16 boards, to the track and field expert, qualifying for state meets with participation in shot put, discus, long jump and triple jump.
And yeah, he played football on the side as well. Campbell went from offensive tackle to tight end to defensive end excelling in all areas. In his senior season alone, he had 38 catches for 412 yards and 4 TDs and 118 tackles, 2 INTs and 19 sacks. SuperPrep had him rated as the second best high school prospect in Colorado and best defensive player. He declined college scholarships from Michigan, LSU, Nebraska and Oklahoma to enroll at the University of Miami.
After redshirting a season and playing a reserve DE in his freshman year, he started to blossom in his sophomore stint with 20.5 tackles for loss and 10.5 sacks. Campbell won team MVP honors and first team Atlantic Coast Conference awards. His career was on the apex.
2007 was not not so kind. A preseason All-American and early Ted Hendricks candidate for best college DE, his numbers tumbled: 25 tackles, 7 TKfL, 1 INT and 4.5 sacks. Despite the paltry statistics, he declared himself eligible for the 2008 NFL draft. Running a plus 5.0 in the 40 coupled with a weak Pro Day, Campbell's draft stock had fallen faster than Aaron Hernandez jersey sales.
What We Knew Then
Because of his senior season slide and "poor" combine and Pro day workouts, FFToolbox considered him one of the draft's biggest risks.
Walters Football liked his size and speed, comparing him to Mario Williams. Concerned about Calais' lower body strength.
What We Know Now
The Cardinals second round pick in the NFL draft - 50th overall - Campbell played in all 16 games, mostly special teams and backup to Bertrand Berry and Antonio Smith. One of the few leftovers from the 2008 Super Bowl season. (Fitz, Darnell Dockett, Lyle Sendlein, Levi Brown and Karlos Dansby (redux)).
The following season Campbell recorded seven sacks and the first two blocked FGs of his five total in his career.
Had led the team in sacks for three consecutive years until last season, when Daryl Washington's nine passed Campbell's 6.5.
Should have been invited to the Pro Bowl last season, but continues to get respect.
Was given the franchise tender last season, then signed to a 5 year, 55 million deal.
So, considering that Calais Campbell was once thought of a high risk player coming out of college by at least one publication... does he seem that guy now?