Washington Redskins wide receiver coach Ike Hilliard was described as being “enamored” at the 2014 NFL combine. Was it by 6-5 jump ball snagging machine from Texas A&M Mike Evans? Or was it the explosive Sammy Watkins from Clemson? How about the incredibly consistent Jeremy Gallon from Michigan?
No, Ike Hilliard was taken aback by 5’9 (that’s about an inch or two to generous) 190 lb slot receiver from Wake Forest, Mike Campanaro. Although Campanaro missed a great deal of his senior season at Wake Forest due to injury, he tested incredibly well at the combine, benching 225lbs twenty times which ranked in the top 5 among receivers. He ran a 4.46 40 yard dash and his vertical was measured at 39 inches. Per Aaron Wilson of the Baltimore Sun, an NFC West team told the former Demon Deacon that if he were available in the 3rd round, they would select him.
Hilliard better make it clear to the front office in Washington( and to a larger extent Dan Snyder because he pulls all the strings) that Campanaro should be a priority for the Redskins to select because he is the perfect fit. Robert Griffin found a security blanket last season in Jordan Reed, and adding another one underneath in Campanaro could only help Robert establish that consistency which he has been searching for since we last saw it in the end of his rookie season.
Campanaro is Wake Forest all time leader in receptions with 229. He racked up over 2500 yards and 14 touchdowns in he collegiate career. He was Quarterback Tanner Price’s go to receiver, and totaled at least 70 yards receiving in all but one of the eight games he played in, including three 100+ yard performances. Coach Jim Grobe loves trick plays, and most that he did run involved Campanaro in some capacity whether it be catching, running or passing. His versatility would allow new offensive coordinator Sean McVay to open up his already extensive playbook.
The Redskins barely used new return man Nick Williams last year in their offense, and he was the closest thing Washington had to a slot receiver. We’ve seen how effective Cole Beasley has been for the Dallas Cowboys and I believe that is the worst case scenario for Campanaro. He doesn’t possess blazing speed, but his sure handedness and quickness will be a big asset for RGIII and company on offense. Hopefully, the Washington Redskins can pick up Campanaro in the upcoming draft as his stock is on the rise.