NFL Rebels: Sam Williams, Mark Robinson and Chance Campbell performing well in NFL Preseason
The second week of the preseason in the NFL is coming to an end, and former Ole Miss defensive standouts Sam Williams, Mark Robinson and Chance Campbell, all taken in the 2022 NFL Draft, are performing well in preseason action.
Robinson was drafted by the Pittsburgh Steelers in the seventh round, while Williams, the highest drafted Rebel in 2022, was selected in the second round by the Dallas Cowboys, and Campbell was chosen by the Tennessee Titans in the sixth round.
Obviously, any time a team steps on the field the main goal is to win. In the NFL Preseason, there is also another element — that of evaluating newly acquired players. Whether a player is drafted in the first round or is an undrafted free agent, he will get his chance to show what he’s got.
Robinson, Williams, and Campbell are making impressions on general managers and coaches, proving their value to their respective teams.
Former NFL offensive lineman and current NFL Network analyst, Brain Baldinger has raved about the NFL Rebels he’s watched.
.@Steelers have a famous saying, “the standard is the standard” and Mark Robinson is a nuclear explosion waiting to burst on every play…but it’s a controlled violence. I can see Mike T. Jumping out of his film chair when he sees these hits #BaldysBreakdowns pic.twitter.com/btycVu6IHj
— Brian Baldinger (@BaldyNFL) August 21, 2022
.@dallascowboys it’s going to be fun to watch the growth and improvement of Sam Williams. Be patient b/c he needs to learn a lot but he has a little somethin somethin to his game. #BaldysBreakdowns pic.twitter.com/g0TabXO5n5
— Brian Baldinger (@BaldyNFL) August 21, 2022
It has been well-documented that Robinson came to Ole Miss as a running back and then found a home on the other side of the ball and flourished.
One thing that stood out to me about Robinson in his time at Ole Miss, tremendous physical abilities aside, was that he wanted to be on the field. It is easy to tell when watching him that he is passionate about football.
Robinson’s football IQ is a bit ahead of the curve for a rookie because of his experience as a running back. His style of play is aggressive, the embodiment of a linebacker. He has a nose for the football, just like a bloodhound has a nose for a two-week-old scent.
As for Sam Williams, he is a force to be reckoned with.
Coming off a season where he set the single-season sacks record at Ole Miss, Williams loves getting after the opposing quarterback. As seen in the above Twitter video, he is putting opposing offensive lineman on skates with his speed and power.
I can recall attending the 2022 Ole Miss Pro Day and watching the Cowboys defensive coordinator, Dan Quinn, lead the pass rushing drills. Aside from the impressive job Williams did during the drills, I saw a coach that had fallen in love with a player.
I remember telling myself that I would be very surprised if the Cowboys didn’t draft Williams. Lo and behold, the Cowboys took him in the second round.
Campbell, who played in all 13 games as a graduate transfer for Ole Miss in 2021, was selected in the sixth round of the 2022 NFL Draft by the Tennessee Titans. Last season, he paced the Rebels’ defense with 109 total tackles and finished second in tackles for loss (12.5).
On Saturday night in Nissan Stadium, the Titans defeated Tampa Bay, 13-3.
Of his performance, along with fellow Titans linebacker Joe Jones, Pro Football Focus writes:
“Joe Jones and Chance Campbell held their own in coverage tonight. Combined, they allowed six receptions from seven targets, but those catches went for just 6.0 yards on average. Both players recorded a defensive stop, and Jones snagged an interception.”
Chance also tallied one tackle for loss in the win.
— TURRON DAVENPORT (@TDavenport_NFL) August 21, 2022
Come on ride the train….
It’s great to see Ole Miss head coach Lane Kiffin and his staff putting players in great positions to not only succeed in college but also in the NFL. It gives fans a sense of pride and excitement knowing the coaching staff not only can recruit talented players, but also coach them and develop them.
Ole Miss begins play September 3 at Vaught-Hemingway against Troy. That’s when we’ll get our first glimpse this season of the Rebels’ potential 2023 NFL Draft picks.
(Feature image credit: (Gus Ruelas / ASSOCIATED PRESS)
Nick Filipich was born and raised in Biloxi, MS. He is an Ole Miss senior majoring in Sports and Recreation Administration. A sports junkie with a great passion for all things Ole Miss, Nick played baseball and football in high school — which is where he discovered his love for sports. He is an avid Braves and Saints fan, and in his free time enjoys spending time with family, friends and his black lab, Dixie.