Southern California Senior
40: 4.75 (estimated)
Has a good tall, athletic frame. Has nice hands and does a good job stretching for the ball. Uses his size well to shield away the defender. Will lay out for passes and shows good body control. Has nice speed and shows some quickness to separate from defenders in the flat and over the middle. Gives good effort as a run blocker, uses his hands and shows some ability to lock on. Comfortable making the kick out block on the edge at H-back.
Doesn't have ideal size as an inline blocker. Doesn't have the strength to hold his blocks and doesn't get much push. MIsses some assignments as a blocker when working at H-back and looks raw at times. Doesn't consistently use his hands to get position and will lower his shoulder instead. Doesn't always get a good release off the line and can be slow at times reacting to the snap.
Cameron is a former basketball player and it shows in his game. He has upside because of that ability, but he's still raw and you can tell he's still somewhat new to the game. This past year really was his only year of major college football, where he caught 16 passes for 126 yards (7.9 avg) and 1 touchdown as USC's No. 2 TE. The past two years he was primarily a reserve wide out, but caught 0 passes in 11 game. He played 3 games on USC's basketball team as a sophomore. His only other major collegiate experience at football came in 2007 as a freshman at Ventura Junior College, where he caught 22 passes for 348 yards (15.8 avg) and 5 touchdowns. Prior to that he was a redshirt basketball player at BYU, but never played there before transferring. His older sister is the mother of Matt Leinart's child.
Cameron has potential to develop down the road. Right now, he's a guy similar to Jimmy Graham from a year ago with limited experience. Except Cameron didn't show a ton of improvement over the course of his single season of college football like Graham did last year at Miami. But coming into the league as a No. 3 guy and he can contribute as a blocker, although probably more likely to do so as an H-back in the pros. He'll be a decent option right away, but I don't think he'll start to make his impact as a receiver until his second or third year. If he can bulk up, he should improve as a blocker, although he'll never be great there. But he can use his size to get position, and if he's catching 40 or more passes a year, teams won't care too much that he's only an average blocker. I'm not sure he's going to be a dynamic receiving option, but as a third guy in a team's passing attack, with his size and athleticism to go up over the middle and make grabs he can be a nice outlet option in an offense. He can create matchup issues and be a factor in the redzone, but I don't see him being a top tier tight end, but a solid starter eventually three or four years down the road. At the least he should be a decent H-back and No. 2 guy that can be like a David Thomas is for the Saints. He'll work best in an offense like the Saints or Patriots that will use him in the slot and try to create matchup problems for the defense in space.
While he's not an ideal option for a replacement for Gonzalez, he could be a nice consolation prize and/or sleeper for the Falcons down the road. Like Gonzalez, his experience playing basketball can make him a factor, and a year under Gonzalez's guidance would do him well in Atlanta going forward. He can come in and play a similar role as Michael Palmer, and with his superior speed and athleticism, has a chance to be a guy that can make 15-20 receptions as a rookie. By his second year, with a year of working in an NFL locker room, he should be stronger and better able to handle the No. 2 job. I don't think he would be a great candidate to take over for Gonzo as the starter by his second year, but if he's splitting reps with another player he could be OK. By his third or fourth year, he should be polished enough where he can be a trusted starter and be a guy that can catch 30-40 passes in the Falcons offense and be a factor on third downs. He would be good, but not a great tight end. But is probably a better fit as a second option at tight end in the Falcons offense long-term than a go-to guy.
Because of Cameron's upside, but longer length to impact to similar prospect, he's probably worth a fourth round pick at the earliest.
1-poor, 2-weak, 3-above average, 4-very good, 5-elite
Body Control: 4.0
"Vincere scis, Hannibal, victoria uti nescis" -- Maharbal, 216 B.C.E.