Confession: I’m slowly, and maybe very irrationally, developing a fantasy man crush on Jordan Cameron.
Why? Because in August when we’re all going about the business of trying to destroy Ted from accounting, he could be the best late-round sleeper at any position.
Surely you’re aware of Cameron, but if not, I’ll make the introductions. He’s the Cleveland Browns tight end who was a fourth-round pick in 2011, and he started to get a few more looks and touches last season.
But there was an obstacle ahead of him on the Browns’ tight end depth chart. A rather large one too, and his name was Benjamin Watson. He’s since departed to New Orleans to live out the twilight years of his career while serving as Jimmy Graham’s primary backup, and good on him.
The assumption was that Watson’s departure would then lead to Cameron’s rise up the depth chart, and therefore much more production after Watson was targeted 82 times last year, while Cameron was far behind at 40. However, there was one final hurdle to clear: the draft, with the Browns ideally not selecting another tight end throughout the entire process.
That happened. All but one of the Browns’ picks were on the side of the ball where Cameron does not play (that’s defense), which led to something glorious. Take it away, Tony Grossi:
Entering his third season, Cameron will be given the chance to blossom as a No. 1 under the new coaching staff. Davis will be the in-line blocker. Gary Barnidge is a low-risk flier with one year experience in coach Rob Chudzinski’s offense in Carolina.
And so it was written.
Again, I’ll admit this is maybe a little reactionary and based largely on upside, and maybe I’ll devour delicious crow come September. But there’s justification for some fantasy fawning over Cameron.
Consider that despite his limited targets and therefore very limited receptions (just 20) this past season, he still had four catches for 20 yards or more. That’s some fine chunk yardage from a guy you’ll be able to get pretty damn late in most drafts, which hints strongly at Cameron’s potential to blossom quickly.
There’s more, because of course there is. Like the rest of his offensive teammates, Cameron will now be in a vertical offense spearheaded by head coach Rob Chudzinski and new offensive coordinator Norv Turner. As Rotoworld quite rightly noted, it’s a system that features tight ends prominently, and one that others have thrived in recently.
When Turner was in San Diego with Chud as both his assistant coach and the tight ends coach between 2009 and 2010, Antonio Gates accumulated 1,861 receiving yards and 18 touchdowns. And this past season when Chudzinski was Carolina’s offensive coordinator, Greg Olsen averaged 52.7 yards per game with 843 yards overall, and five touchdowns.
Now all Cameron has to do is stay atop the Browns’ tight end depth chart throughout the summer, and cash in on his potential. Easy.