Only two Maryland players were drafted over the weekend, OT Bruce Campbell in the 4th round to the Raiders and CB Nolan Carroll to the Dolphins (my old favorite NFL team) in the 5th round. Last year four Maryland players were drafted but it isn’t surprising given that this was a terrible 2-10 squad this past season. Campbell plummeted out of the 1st round after an impressive combine as concerns began to grow about his ability to apply that talent on the field. It may look at first glance that Campbell made a poor decision by coming out early this season but you have to keep in mind that the impending NFL lockout would have made the decision to stay very risky. With the possibility that the entire 2011-12 season may be cancelled and that if there is a new collective bargaining agreement it is unclear what terms would be in the new CBA, a rookie salary cap is likely, then coming out early wasn’t as bad a decision as it seems. Campbell probably has the capability to develop like former Maryland tackle Jared Gaither. I felt that Campbell was a harder worker than Gaither ever was at Maryland so I don’t think that will hold him back. Injuries have been an issue for Campbell so his struggles to stay healthy may have hurt his draft status as well.
It was great to see Florida native Nolan Carroll not only get drafted but go to a team in his home state that has a good opportunity given the Miami Dolphins struggles in pass defense. Carroll has a good chance to be moved to safety or as a nickel or dime back for the Dolphins. Miami cut safety Gibril Wilson and let nickel back Nate Jones go as a free agent so it would appear that Carroll has an excellent shot of being on the opening day roster for the ‘Phins. Carroll will join Maryland alums DT Randy Starks and undrafted free agent DT Travis Ivey in Miami.
Other undrafted free agents getting deals were FB Cory Jackson (San Diego) S Terrell Skinner (Minnesota), and C Phil Costa (Dallas).