In a league where the teams looking up try to copy the success of the teams looking down, I'm sure countless GM's and coaches went into the draft looking for their version of the Giants DE/DT Justin Tuck. After watching him and the rest of the defensive line wreak havoc on Tom Brady in the Super Bowl, who wouldn't want to find their own version of Mr Tuck. The problem of course is that 6'5 274 pound physical freaks don't grow on trees and they aren't all going to be surrounded by the likes of Micheal Strahan and Osi Umenyiora. There aren't too many players in this league who can manage 65 tackles and 10 sacks despite starting only two games. But, just for comparison sake let's consider that the Arizona Cardinals' second round pick, Calais Campbell, can fit the 'Justin Tuck mold' and see if it's possible that he can experience that kind of success.
First lets look at the measureables of these two players (stats via Draft Scout):
|Vertical Jump||37 1/2||34 1/2|
|Broad Jump||9' 10"||9' 3"|
|20 Yd Shuttle||4.29||4.63|
|3 Cone Drill||7.33||
Obviously it certainly looks like Tuck is the more athletic of the two and seemingly be by a considerable margin. So why do you get over 4,000 results when you google "Calais Campbell & Justin Tuck?" Well because the Cardinals have already stated that they'll use Campbell much like the Giants have used Tuck. He'll start as a backup defensive end but could move inside to tackle on passing downs. They also had similar college careers that included standout sophomore seasons but disappointing (at least by their standards) junior seasons. Their junior seasons caused both players to fall in the draft, Tuck from a mid-to-late first rounder to the top of the third and Campbell to the middle of the second. There is some possibility that a three man line of Darnell Dockett, Antonio Smith and Calais Campbell could put some considerable pressure on opposing quarterbacks. Dockett and Smith combined for 14.5 sacks in 2007 but both got off to quick starts (9.5 sacks combined in the first 6 games) before injuries decimated the entire defense.
So does anyone else see it? Can Campbell be the dynamic force that Tuck was in 2007?