GREEN BAY – After last month's NFL Draft, Packers General Manager Brian Gutekunst suggested it was a possibility the team could still sign a veteran inside linebacker this offseason.
That individual turned out to be De'Vondre Campbell, a sixth-year pro out of Minnesota who has started 70 of the 75 games in which he's played in the NFL.
Campbell, 27, has recorded 462 tackles (25 for a loss), 7½ sacks, six forced fumbles and three interceptions over his five seasons with the Atlanta Falcons and Arizona Cardinals.
Here are five things to know about the Packers' newest signing:
1. Campbell has played a lot of football…
Since entering the NFL in 2016, the 6-foot-4, 232-pound linebacker has played 4,202 defensive snaps in the regular season. He started 10 games for Atlanta as a rookie, snagging his first career interception off Carson Palmer in a Week 12 win over Arizona. Campbell's rookie season in Atlanta coincided with Packers Head Coach Matt LaFleur's final year as the Falcons' quarterbacks coach. Campbell started in Super Bowl LI against the New England Patriots, recording four tackles. Since 2017, he's averaged 103.5 tackles per season with all 7½ of his career sacks coming during that time. Campbell has had some big performances against the Packers. He has 22 tackles, two sacks (Aaron Rodgers, Brett Hundley) and a pass breakup in four games against Green Bay (including playoffs).
2. …despite getting a late start with the sport.
The native of Fort Myers, Fla., didn't start playing football until his sophomore year at Cyprus Lake High School. His lone scholarship offer came from Hutchinson (Kan.) Community College, where he was teammates with future Minnesota Vikings first-round pick Cordarrelle Patterson.
Snapshots of newly-signed Green Bay Packers LB De'Vondre Campbell.
3. Campbell's knack for sacks started in college.
Campbell was a three-star JUCO recruit for the Gophers in 2013 after registering 83 tackles and 3½ sacks in his lone year at Hutchinson CC. He started 27 of his 36 career games at Minnesota, finishing his three-year run with 208 tackles (16 for a loss) and another 6½ sacks. A bulk of that production came during his senior campaign, when Campbell posted 92 tackles and four sacks to earn All-Big Ten honorable mention.
4. He wears No. 59 to honor his mother.
While Campbell wore No. 26 at Minnesota, he switched to No. 59 during his rookie year with Atlanta in homage to his mother, Cathryn, whose birth year is 1959. He also wore the number with the Cardinals last year. "(De'Vondre) said, 'You've been riding my back all these years. That's why I'm putting that number on my back, to remind me of you,'" Cathryn recalled in an interview with the Fort Myers News-Press in 2017.
5. The Packers have now had four of the seven linebackers selected in the fourth round of the 2016 NFL Draft on their roster.
It's true. After drafting Blake Martinez with the 131st pick that year, the Packers later acquired B.J. Goodson (109), Antonio Morrison (125) and now Campbell (115). Morrison was traded from Indianapolis near the end of training camp in 2018 and Goodson was acquired from the New York Giants before the season opener in 2019. What's more, the Packers also drafted Kyler Fackrell with the final pick of the third round in 2016.