Jason Avant is gone. While he was nice to have in the locker room, Avant's performance on the field had declined as of the last two seasons. He was owed a rather large salary and was cut on Tuesday. While there are talented wide receivers on the roster, the Eagles could look to find Avant's replacement in the draft. Wake Forest wide receiver Michael Campanaro is a prospect with plenty of experience and solid hands that could make him a positive addition to any team.
A promising recruited out of Clarksville, Maryland, Campanaro committed to Wake Forest and redshirted as a freshmen in 2009. Entering his first season of game time, Campanaro appeared in 12 games (one start) and returned kickoffs. He led the team with 28 kickoff returns for 679 yard for an average of 24.3 per return. He also added 10 receptions for 107 yards in limited time on offense.
As a redshirt sophomore, Campanaro again played in 12 games but started 11 of them in 2011. He missed one game due to injury, but remained heavily-productive throughout the year. With 73 receptions for 833 yards and two touchdowns, he and current Rams receiver Chris Givens led the team.
Givens was drafted in 2012, so Campanaro took on the lead role in the offense as a junior. While he missed two games with a hand injury, Campanaro was a second team All-ACC selection. He played in 10 games (nine starts) and led the ACC with 7.9 receptions per game. He caught 79 passes for 763 yards and six touchdowns with 9.7 yards per catch. He also had nine punt returns for 81 yards and a touchdown.
In his final season, Campanaro was hampered by a few injuries and only played in eight games. A broken collarbone caused him to miss the final three games of his senior season. Campanaro had 67 catches for 803 yards and six touchdowns prior to his season-ending injury. He was again a second team All-ACC selection and set the school record with 229 receptions.
Campanaro was invited to the Senior Bowl and recovered in time to play in the game. He caught two passes for 11 yards in the game.
Campanaro was invited to the Combine and showed both his speed and strength in drills.
Weight: 192 lbs
Arm Length: 30"
Hands: 9 3/4"
40: 4.46 seconds
Bench: 20 reps (4th most of WRs)
Vertical Jump: 39 inches
Broad Jump: 122 inches
3 Cone: 6.77 seconds
Shuttle: 4.01 seconds
Campanaro is a solid route runner with great hands. An experienced returner of both punts and kickoffs, he has added value. A very willing blocker, Campanaro understands leverage and uses his body well for his size. He has thick physique and can fight through tackles. He is not afraid to go across the middle and has a Wes Welker-like style of play that allows him to catch several balls in traffic.
Campanaro is extremely compact, which pretty much relegates him to the slot at the next level. While he is a willing blocker, he is easily overpowered by bigger cornerbacks and safeties. Like Danny Amendola, his lack of size and his style of play create durability questions. Injuries caused him to miss several games in his college career and while his collarbone has healed, it is still a concern.
The Eagles could use depth at wide receiver and will likely need a new slot guy or two. Campanaro is a smaller player but is willing to block and is a tough guy with a team-first attitude. He is likely an early Day 3 pick (4th-5th round) and would be a solid addition. He is in the mold of Greg Salas, who was on the team last offseason and also on the practice squad for a short period as well, and Campanaro could thrive under Chip Kelly if given the opportunity.