Earlier this week I had discussed the prospect of drafting tight ends earlier than most sites suggest. Now with Josh Gordon‘s recent DWI on top of his yearlong suspension, there’s more reason to draft a tight end early this year — especially if that player is Cleveland Browns TE Jordan Cameron.
Last season, Cameron was a favorite pick for breakout player of the year. He took those votes of confidence and ran away with the show in 2013, ranking fifth among his position in fantasy points last season.
But don’t expect Cameron to regress in his production this season. Even though the QB situation is in limbo at the moment, that won’t negatively affect his numbers.
The Browns are notorious for their QB changes, and they did so three times last season for one reason or another. But the common factor between all three was the success that Cameron achieved. Looking at his game log from last year, we can see that he consistently brought in about 30 points over a four-game spread. Aside from his 3 TD game, he was very consistent in his totals. So whether the signal caller is Brian Hoyer or Johnny Manziel, he should be fine. Now that the league-leading wide receiver Gordon is out, Cameron will be even better off.
In 2013, Gordon saw over 159 targets opposed to Cameron’s 118. There’s no replacement to match Gordon’s talent and style at wide receiver. The only player on the roster who comes close is Cameron. Expect his targets to top 130 this season with upside for more.
Since entering the league, Cameron has improved statistically on an overall and efficiency basis. Last season, he caught a career high 68 percent of catches even after receiving four times as many receptions from the season prior. Expect that number to increase slightly, bringing his receptions total to be around 90.
With the addition of offensive coordinator Kyle Shanahan, we can expect more deep passes which should in turn increase Cameron’s average yards per reception to around 12 yards. Expect Cameron to reach the 1,000-yard milestone this season as well as increasing his scores to 10 touchdowns. Those are Jimmy Graham-esque numbers, and you can get them at a fraction of the cost (the fifth round opposed to the second).