Kevin Jones of the Cleveland Browns' official website presented his list last week of the five players who benefited the most from the team's offseason practices. The man at the top of that list -- or at least presented that way online -- is tight end Jordan Cameron.
Jones wrote that Cameron "was impossible to cover in the spring" and "has shown improved footwork and explosion in the open field once he has the football."
Cameron is absolutely critical to the Browns' offense this season. With Josh Gordon likely out for most if not all of 2014, Cameron will probably enter the season as Cleveland's de facto No. 1 receiver. But can he repeat or improve upon the 80-917-7 line he posted last year?
Offensive coordinator Kyle Shanahan has overseen some very good tight ends in his young coaching career -- Owen Daniels and Jordan Reed stand out. Cameron might be the best one he has ever coached, and Shanahan is going to have to figure out ways to get him open in the face of increased defensive attention. There's no doubt that Cameron will be a marked man by defensive coordinators, especially if Miles Austin can't stay healthy. Also, the Browns led the league with 681 pass attempts last year. They won't come anywhere close to that title in their new run-heavy scheme, so there will be substantially fewer passes in the air for Cameron to catch.
You have to believe in Cameron's talent and athleticism. But I fear a regression of sorts after his breakout season. He is currently being drafted in the fifth round on average, but I'd rather wait and take my chances with someone such as Dennis Pitta, Greg Olsen, or Zach Ertz a handful of rounds later.