5 prospects the Cleveland Browns should trade up for in the 2023 NFL Draft
Jack Campbell, Linebacker, Iowa
One of the more under-the-radar moves that the Cleveland Browns have made this offseason is bringing back veteran middle linebacker Anthony Walker. Walker is a great leader and a player-favorite in the locker room, and will most likely serve as the on-field signal-caller for the defense in 2023.
There are two caveats when it comes to the signing of Walker. First, he has played in just 16 games in two seasons in Cleveland, coming off of a torn quadriceps in week three against the Pittsburgh Steelers last year. Further, he signed his third consecutive one-year deal, leaving his future with the team in question as well.
Behind Walker, Cleveland really doesn't have a true MIKE linebacker that can play in the middle of the field and call the defense. Jack Campbell can be that long-term answer. Campbell has great size for a linebacker (6-foot-5 and 249 pounds) which Cleveland lacks right now. He isn't the most athletic backer in the class, but he has been as effective as anyone, winning the 2022 Dick Butkus Award as the nation's top linebacker.
With his size, football IQ, physicality, and proven production, Campbell could end up being the first linebacker off the board in the 2023 NFL Draft. Even if he is, no one knows when that may be. Especially if guys like Trenton Simpson and Drew Sanders go before Campbell, he could fall into a sweet spot in the second round for the Browns to make a move up.
I believe that Campbell would be a perfect long-term pair for Jeremiah Owusu-Koramoah. JOK brings the speed and athleticism while Campbell would bring the size and physicality. If Cleveland can add a young player with the skillset of Campbell to their linebacker room, they should do it, even if it takes a couple of later picks to move up and get him.