Packers: De’Vondre Campbell is PFF’s top-ranked linebacker in 2021

Green Bay Packers, De'Vondre Campbell (Photo by Wesley Hitt/Getty Images)
Green Bay Packers, De'Vondre Campbell (Photo by Wesley Hitt/Getty Images) /

In early June, the Green Bay Packers signed free-agent inside linebacker De’Vondre Campbell.

At the time, it was considered a smart signing. After all, the Packers lacked depth at inside linebacker and Campbell could come in and start from day one.

Few knew quite how big of an impact Campbell was set to have in the middle of the defense. So far this season, he’s showing every single team in the league why they made a mistake to let him remain a free agent into the summer.

Campbell has been one of the best defensive players in football this year. And as expected, Campbell is Pro Football Focus’ highest-graded inside linebacker so far this season.

How about that? An inside linebacker for the Green Bay Packers has PFF’s highest grade at the position. Not often do we see that.

It’s well deserved. Campbell has started every game for the Packers this season and played on 98.01 percent of the team’s defensive snaps, according to Pro Football Reference. He’s been on the field for every single defensive game in nine of the Packers’ 11 games in 2021.

In that time, Campbell has a team-high 95 tackles, good for seventh-most in the NFL. He also has four tackles for loss, four pass defenses, two interceptions, two forced fumbles, one sack, and five QB hits.

He makes plays all over the field, both against the run and pass. He is an excellent tackler and quickly brings down receivers even if they’ve made the catch, limiting their yards after catch. Campbell has been excellent in helping shut down the run while also playing well in passing situations.

What has helped Campbell reach an even higher level is the big plays he’s made. He’s come away with two interceptions and forced two fumbles. Again, not something we hear often when it comes to Packers inside linebackers.

If the Packers win the Super Bowl this season, Campbell will be one of the main reasons why. He’s been that good.