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Campbell staying true to himself as he looks to make an early impact

Detroit Lions fans should recognize the name Chad Greenway.

The former Iowa Hawkeyes and Minnesota Vikings linebacker spent 10 years in the NFL from 2007-16, all with Minnesota as one of the most consistent linebackers in the NFC North for a decade. He notched six 100-tackle seasons in his first seven NFL seasons and was a two-time Pro Bowler (2011, 12).

He also is the linebacker Detroit Lions rookie Jack Campbell looked up to and tried to emulate his game after growing up in Iowa.

"Really, I try to be the best version of myself, but growing up in Iowa Chad Greenway was the guy that like pushed me to become who I am today," Campbell said at Detroit's rookie minicamp.

Campbell is two inches taller than Greenway and 13 pounds heavier, and was faster and more explosive in the pre-draft testing. Campbell averaged 10.0 tackles in his 27 starts at Iowa and became the first Hawkeyes player to win the Butkus Award (nation's top linebacker) and William V. Campbell Trophy (academic Heisman).

In Campbell, the Lions think they have a tough, gritty, versatile football player with a high football IQ and the ability to be an impact player right away. He was playing the MIKE spot and calling the plays during Detroit's open rookie minicamp practice.

"This defense, we're going to attack," Campbell said. "Do things the right way. Again, once a play is done, we're not going to sit and talk about all the things we could have done. Next play mentality and good to go."

There are high expectations on Campbell to come in and make an early impact as the No. 18 overall pick in the NFL Draft, but he knows he'll have to earn the right to play. He's joining a veteran-laden linebacker room full of players trying to carve out their own roles and playing time.

View photos from offseason workouts on Monday, May 15, 2023.

"All I can do is prepare to the best of my ability and let my talents and everything else take me to where I need to go," Campbell said. "I'm going to do everything that I can to put this team in the best position to win games.

"Right now a lot of people have high expectations on me and that's all good. I'm just going to stick to what I know and who I am and come out here every single day and give it my all."

Campbell plans to come out every day detail-orientated and find a way to impact this defense right away, much like his favorite player Greenway did for the Vikings early in his career.

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