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3 reasons why 49ers LB De’Vondre Campbell will produce in 2024

Jul 10, 2024 at 4:00 AM

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In the recent free agency period, the San Francisco 49ers acquired veteran linebacker De'Vondre Campbell to help fill the void that Dre Greenlaw left after his Super Bowl Achilles rupture.

Campbell is excited to join the 49ers telling Justin Melo in an interview for 49ers Webzone that the team "called me and told me they wanted me." He would go on to mention how it was a great opportunity for himself to join a contender and compete in 2024.

While the loss of Greenlaw was important as seen in the Super Bowl, Campbell looks to make the most out of the opportunity handed to him by the 49ers and has a solid chance at producing at a high level this upcoming season. Here are three reasons why he will produce.

1. Experienced Talent on a Redemption Tour

Campbell is just three years removed from his best statistical season in his NFL career. In 2021, the former fourth-round draft pick was a one man wrecking crew. He finished with 146 combined tackles (102 solo, 44 assisted), five pass deflections, two interceptions, two forced fumbles, and two sacks. Needless to say, he dominated for a Green Bay team that finished 13-4 before falling 13-10 to the San Francisco 49ers in the NFC Divisional Round.

When it comes to experience, Campbell is no stranger to it. Having been in the NFL for eight years, he has accumulated quite the resume. He has registered 779 combined tackles, 28 pass deflections, eight interceptions, eight forced fumbles, and 9.5 sacks, which puts him in a productive veteran player tier.

Since joining the league in 2016, Campbell has remained relatively healthy. He played in eleven games in 2023 and will look for this fresh start in San Francisco as an opportunity to improve his production on the field.

2. Scheme Fit

Campbell is a talented linebacker who has experience playing in multiple defenses. During his time with the Atlanta Falcons, the defense's top goal was to utilize their pass rushers that they had at the time. There was a fast and physical style of play by head coach/defensive coordinator Dan Quinn's unit, which resulted in more sacks and the linebackers coming downhill to stop the run. Does this sound familiar? Well, the 49ers defense has a strong pass rush and linebackers who are not afraid to fill and tackle in the trenches.

Campbell is a match for the team due to the experience and similar defensive scheme that he had seen in his first few seasons in Atlanta paired with his most recent in Green Bay. He is a tackling machine who leans on the core principles of stopping the run, covering sideline-to-sideline, and blitzing when necessary. Occasionally, the linebackers have to cover and with 28 pass deflections and eight interceptions in his career, he will be just fine in that department, if it is on an sporadic basis.

Players always have to adapt and learn how the coaching staff wants certain things done, but for Campbell, he already has a good understanding on how to be a leader and is willing to be a team player.

He is the type of person who will help the younger defensive athletes improve their game as he recently mentioned how all of the linebackers will "hold down the fort" until Greenlaw returns from his injury by stating, "Fred Warner and myself, Curtis [Robinson], Flynn [Demetrius Flannigan-Fowles], Zeke [Ezekiel Turner], Dee [Winters], all of us are going to hold the fort down until Greenlaw gets back to where he wants to be."

3. Increased Opportunity with Greenlaw's Injury

The loss of Greenlaw in the Super Bowl really changed the defensive flow and energy. He is an impactful player who plays with such passion opposite of three-time All-Pro teammate Fred Warner. With Greenlaw still recovering from his Achilles injury, look for Campbell to get more opportunities early in the season.

Kyle Madson on Niners Wire, a USA Today Sports website, posed the question of whether or not Campbell can still play.

Campbell was an All-Pro just three seasons ago. Since then his overall production has dipped, but it could be a product of the personnel or scheme in Green Bay. He's an undeniably talented veteran who should be able to fill in for Greenlaw even if it is past time for Campbell to be that level of player. Playing next to Warner should elevate the 31-year-old. How much it elevates his play is something we'll be intrigued to see in camp.

If all goes well, he will produce due to being paired next to Warner, the heart and soul of the 49ers' defensive unit. Look for increased reps for Campbell as the team will look to keep Greenlaw healthy for a potential playoff push late in the season.

Just as a side note: throughout Campbell's career, he has not played alongside another teammate as talented, smart, and impactful as Warner. Simply just playing next to him should propel Campbell to produce at an even higher level, which in the end will help the 49ers defense, especially the linebackers thrive.
The opinions within this article are those of the writer and, while just as important, are not necessarily those of the site as a whole.
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