2013 NFL Breakout Candidate: Cleveland Browns Jordan Cameron
The success of Tony Gonzalez and Antonio Gates with their Hall of Fame caliber careers, could entice teams to find a former basketball star to develop into the next great pass catching tight end. In third year player Jordan Cameron, the Cleveland Browns are hoping that he can be the next one on that list.
Jordan Cameron had an interesting route to becoming an NFL player. Having played football and basketball in high school, Cameron decided to play collegiate basketball over football and enrolled at Brigham Young University (BYU). After a season, Cameron had a change of heart and transferred to USC to go play wide receiver.
While he would not get much action as a wide receiver, Cameron’s size gave the coaching staff the opportunity to move him over to tight end where he would settle in for his final season. Cameron would show off his athletic skills at the 2011 NFL Combine where he showed that he had all the fundamental qualities necessary to be a tight end in the NFL.
The Browns decided to take a chance on Cameron and drafted him with their fourth round pick in the 2011 Draft. In Cameron’s first two seasons, he has seen little action as the third tight end on the depth chart behind Benjamin Watson and Evan Moore.
Now headed into the 2013 season, with a new coach and offensive coordinator, the Browns also made some personnel changes, particularly at tight end. With the team having let Watson and Moore leave, Jordan Cameron is now the number one tight end on the depth chart and as such, will play a bigger and more important role in the offense.
Cameron should surpass his career numbers on 26 receptions for 259 yards and one touchdown in the 2013 season. Just like wide receiver Josh Gordan, Cameron should and will benefit from a move away from Pat Schrmur‘s West Coast offensive philosophy to head coach Rob Chudzinski and offensive coordinator Norv Tuner‘s down the field passing philosophy.
As a result of the change of philosophy, Cameron should be running a number of routes within the 10 to 19 yard range, giving quarterback Brandon Weeden a reliable target which he can look to at any given time.
Cameron’s production is largely dependent on the improvement of Brandon Weeden who is in his second season as a starting quarterback. However, now that Cameron is the number one tight end and there will be an offensive philosophy that will see him get targets downfield, he will be a prime candidate to be a breakout star and talent for the browns. His athletic ability doesn’t hurt either.