Sixth-round pick Will Campbell, who is making the transition from collegiate defensive tackle to professional offensive guard in his rookie NFL season, has signed a four-year contract with the Jets, agent Buddy Baker said Friday morning on Twitter.
Campbell (6-4, 311) started 11 games at defensive tackle for Michigan in 2012 but also saw some time along the offensive line earlier in his career.
At the conclusion of the draft, Jets director of college scouting Jeff Bauer relayed the story of how the team came to view Campbell as a guard, crediting some insight from the Michigan coaching staff as a key piece of information. Bauer also noted that Brandon Moore, a long-time starter for the Jets, was a defensive tackle at Illinois before changing positions.
“Well, when I went in this fall, [Campbell] was a defensive tackle there,” Bauer said, according to the club. “As I was visiting with the coaches there, one of the coaches said, ‘You see him as a defensive tackle, he’s a big guy, plays hard, he’s physical. He’s not the most gifted pass rusher, not a lot of plays behind the line of scrimmage.’ He said, ‘You know, this guy really is going to do best as an offensive guard.’ And that stuck with me when I went for the fall visit.
“. . . We sent our offensive line coach, Mike Devlin, out to work him out and Mike loved him. Smart kid, worked hard, and we really thought he was going to be a good fit.”