Scouting Report: Michael Campanaro, WR, Wake Forest

Scouting Report: Michael Campanaro, WR, Wake Forest

Has "Patriots" written all over him … though he'd look good in N.O. too … or Denver.
By: Pete Davidson : April 11, 2014 11:15am

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I’ve gotten a few positive e-mails for our Ryan Lankford article last week. You guys sure do like sleepers ... and I can’t say that I blame you. So today I figured, why not give the people some more of what they want? Michael Campanaro's is one of the easiest scouting reports I will write this year. That’s because Campanaro is what he is. When this kid gets to the NFL, he’s going to play the exact same way he did as a collegian. He’s a pure slot receiver and he’s a potentially devastating one as long as he can stay healthy.

Campanaro is not a household name, but he did play in the ACC for four years and posted some really good numbers over that time, while playing with a very average quarterback. The record-setting Demon Deacon was invited to the Combine this year and he didn’t disappoint.

Let’s take a look at his data.

  • Height - 5'9"
  • Weight - 192
  • Hands - 9 3/4”
  • 40 - 4.46
  • Bench Press - 20
  • Vertical Jump - 39”
  • Broad Jump - 122”
  • 3-Cone Drill - 6.77
  • 20 YD Shuttle - 4.01
  • 60 YD Shuttle - 11.31

He did all the drills and posted good numbers across the board, with surprisingly good times in the forty and on the bench. He also jumped 39 inches in his vertical, which is certainly telling. With the exception of his measured height, there were nothing but pluses at the Combine for Campanaro. It’s the same deal when you watch his film. Lots of positives and few negatives.

Things we like about Campanaro.

  • Routes - He’s a devastating route runner. He’s technically sound and his movements are sudden. He has all the speed you need. He knows how to get open, and he can do it quickly. He has a great feel for zone coverage and attacking double teams.
  • Speed - As I said, he has the speed as evidenced by his 4.46 time at the Combine.
  • Quickness - He’s quick off the line and he’s very quick in and out of his breaks.
  • Hands - He’s got solid hands and will make some nifty grabs in traffic and on the sidelines. His hands and feet work well together.
  • Vision - Campanaro sees the field very well when he has the football--making good cuts and finding daylight.
  • Awareness - He’s got a great feel for where he is on the gridiron. He knows where he needs to get for a first down or for his field goal kicker. He’s got a coach’s mind out on the field.
  • Blocking - This kid does what we wish all receivers did--he takes his blocking seriously. The second he realizes he’s a blocker, he’s looking to make an impact and at times he does.
  • Motor - You have to earn a motor distinction from us, and this kid gets one. He’s the player on your team that the other team just hates. He’s that guy. He never stops playing and playing hard.  And, don't forget, this kid was the focal point of the opposition.  He faced plenty of double coverage.
  • Versatility - This guy is a very good athlete and he’s also very smart. This makes it tempting to use him in a lot of ways and that is just what Wake Forest did. He runs, catches and throws the ball from scrimmage. He also returns kicks.
  • Production - Campanaro was very productive at Wake Forest.  229 catches is a serious accomplishment as a collegian, and he did it with Tanner Price, a mediocre quarterback.  Campanaro had four games with ten or more receptions in an injury shortened senior season. He played in eight total games.


Here’s Campanaro versus NC State last season.

Here’s a look at Campanaro versus Maryland. Watch for him throwing the ball twice in this one and on the same drive! The second one goes for a score ... to his quarterback! He also catches 11 balls for 122 yards and scored a touchdown. Oh, and he drew a PI inside the five yard line. Not a bad day at the office.

You can watch all the film you want on this kid. Not much changes. He’s the same player every game, which is a big compliment by itself. I can see this kid playing in New England very easily. Belichick is probably drooling over his film. The Saints are another team that could really use what Campanaro brings to the table. The ability to get open quickly and the long speed to use when the matchup is right. He’d fit in perfectly with Graham, Colston and Stills and replace some of the elements lost with the departure of Darren Sproles, Lance Moore and Robert Meachem. A lot of NFL teams would be able to find use for this player.

So what’s the downside? Injuries.

As we have seen with players who play this style of ball, the hits add up. Campanaro has missed time resulting from a variety of different injuries. The most major of which was a broken collar bone, suffered on a punt return, which ended his 2013 season prematurely. The collar bone does not limit Campanaro at this time.  He also broke an ankle in 2012 and had a sprain that required offseason surgery that same year.  He missed 2013 preseason practice time because of the recovery, and that probably led to his hamstring injury in August.  The hammy cost him the 2013 season opener.  So, we have a lot of nicks and scrapes and a few legit injuries.  On the upside, everything is healed and he has no known concussion woes.

My take on Campanaro is simple. He’s a good player with NFL ability. He will perform well for some team out of the slot and he’ll have a very nice, and somewhat brief career. He’s a name to know for fantasy because of the prevalence of PPR scoring. This is a player who could post high catch totals in the right situation. 

I expect Campanaro to be drafted, though he could go fairly late.  We think he's a steal if he goes late or gets signed as an UDFA.  We'll update his fantasy value after the draft.


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