Dolphins Sign Jordan Cameron
Cameron will give Ryan Tannehill and the Dolphins a much-needed pass catching playmaker. The 6’5” 249-pounder is athletic enough to stretch defenses down the seam and creates big-time problems for the opposition in the redzone. Last season Clay was sixth among tight ends in OTD, despite only catching three touchdowns. The opportunities were there and will be for Cameron.
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In 2013 Cameron hauled in 80 passes for 917 yards and seven touchdowns, displaying his immense upside as a weapon in the passing game. All this despite very shaky quarterback play in Cleveland. Still, he logged a 73.4% catch rate and dropped just five passes out of 118 targets.
But 2014 was a different story. Cameron injured his shoulder in camp and re-injured the AC joint during the Browns’ Week 1 contest with the Steelers. He then suffered a concussion in the Week 8 game against the Raiders – his third since 2012 – and did not return until Week 14. The injuries took their toll even when Cameron was on the field.
For the season he graded out at -10.2, down from -4.1 in 2013. Cameron grades out well in the pass game, but his blocking numbers, especially in the run game, are disappointing. So that brings up the question fantasy owners have to ask: Was his 2013 breakout season just a product of high volume from bad passers? Or is he the type of tight end that can be a difference maker on your fantasy roster in the future?
Last season, Clay posted 58 receptions for 605 yards and three scores for Miami. Clay has a bit more bulk (255 pounds), but is two inches shorter than Cameron. Clay graded out as a significantly better blocker last season, though this won’t impact Cameron’s fantasy football outlook. The Dolphins didn’t bring in Cameron to block.
Expect Cameron to have a significant role in the offense. He should at least match Clay’s production on a per game basis, which slots him as a low-end TE1. If he can stay healthy there’s plenty of upside. Tannehill is the most competent quarterback Cameron has ever had throwing him the football. And he’s a much bigger playmaker than Clay. Even with Miami’s middle-of-the-pack pass offense, Cameron has the potential to overplay his draft value.
But he will be a risky pick on fantasy draft day. April’s NFL Draft could always muddy the water, and there’s the more pressing matter, the “C” word: concussions. He’s had them in three straight seasons and one more could prove very costly. But at some point his pass catching ability is worth the risk in your fantasy league. In Miami he’s the classic high risk/high reward fantasy football tight end.
Nate Hodges is a lead writer for PFF Fantasy and radio host in Knoxville, TN. He ranked #2 (draft) and #5 (season) out of all IDP experts in 2013. His work can also be found at TopTierFootball.com. You can follow him on Twitter – @NateNFL