Cameron has excellent run stuffing skills. He has good size as well as room to add more bulk and strength without it affecting his athletic talents. Cameron does a very good job pushing the pocket to pressure a QB, but his real talent is in his ability to play in a two-gap system and stuff the run. He uses his hands very well and never stops until the whistle is blown. He gets a lot of his sacks through constant effort and can be used in a 3-4 defense or 4-3 defense in multiple positions. Cameron shows me (through his play on the field) that he is a hard worker and is willing to do the dirty work for others to get the credit. He should become a core player for the team that drafts him.
Cameron right now has the size of a defensive end with the mindset of a nose tackle. He does not have foot agility, change of direction skills or quickness off the snap to be a true pass rushing defensive end for the next level; however, he does have the ability to bulk up and be used as a nose guard in a 3-4 or a run stuffing defensive tackle in a 4-3. It's going to be up to him to decide what direction he wants to go to be successful at the next level. Until he does, he will struggle.
It's very simple. I know in college Cameron has been used and promoted as a great pass rusher, but for the NFL, that is not going to happen. He is a defensive tackle who is too small at this point and not athletic enough to compensate for that smallness at the pro level. He is a run stuffer and he can be an outstanding run stuffing nose tackle or defensive tackle, but until he realizes that and puts on the pounds, Cameron will only impact in the right system. The Steelers, Jets, Bills and others like 3-4 defensive ends that can stuff the run and this alone will put Cameron in the mix to be drafted in the first round. But if you are drafting Cameron to rush the passer as a defensive tackle or defensive end, I think you will be disappointed. He can push the pocket and get you an occasional coverage sack, but he is not going to be your main man on your defensive front to rush the passer. Cameron should be a solid defensive lineman who will become a core player for your team and a fan favorite. I'm sure with all the 3-4 defensive fronts and the need to stop the run that Cameron will be drafted in the first or second round. He reminds me a lot of Barry Cofield DT Giants who was drafted in the 4th round in 2006th draft. Of course in 2006 there weren't as many 3/4 defenses.
Update - Jan /11
Cameron showed up for his bowl game and let me tell you that was not the same player that I saw play consistently this year. Cameron eliminated any question that I might have about his athletic abilities to play any position in any style defense. His hand usage was excellent. His burst off the line...well let's just say that has been missing for some time. His quickness to engage and shed blocks was very hard to fine all year long also. It has been suggested that Cameron has had injuries this year and that has slowed him down. I feel Cameron's real ability is somewhere between what I saw last night and what I saw during the season. The problem is this. The athletic talent I saw last night in a person as large as Cameron is rare and if his workouts are as good as I think they will be then look for Cameron to move into the top ten of this draft. I know if I needed a Defensive lineman it would be very hard not to draft Cameron Heyward as the first one of the board in this draft and trust me it has nothing to do with good bloodlines. Where not talking Secretariat here!
The BS Detector
Drew Boylhart Dec/10