Did a Team Draft the Wrong Player Due to Two Top Prospects Having Similar Sounding Names?

Here is the latest in a series of examinations into urban legends about football and whether they are true or false. Click here to view an archive of the football urban legends featured so far.

FOOTBALL URBAN LEGEND: A team drafted the wrong player because two top prospects had similar sounding names.

Ahead of tonight’s NFL Draft, I’m continuing looking at some legends involving the draft. This one was actually sent in to me yesterday by reader Frank W., who asked if it was true that the Cleveland Browns drafted Tight End Jordan Cameron thinking that they were getting defensive end Cameron Jordan.

Simply put, Frank, no, but there WAS an amusing incident on draft night involving the two players.

Cameron Jordan was a defensive end coming out of Cal while Jordan Cameron was a tight end coming out of another California school, USC (Cameron actually first when to Brigham Young as a basketball player then transferred to USC to play football. He first was a wide receiver before becoming a tight end his senior year).

Cameron Jordan was one of the top prospects in the draft, with some mock drafts having him picked as high as #14. He ended up getting drafted at #24 overall by the New Orleans Saints.

Jordan Cameron was not as acclaimed of a prospect, but he was no slouch, either. Every mock draft had him going in the fourth round of the draft, typically around the 110th pick.

Therefore, it was not like the Cleveland Browns would not know who Jordan Cameron was. In addition, they took him with their fourth round pick (102nd overall), so that was right about where he was predicted to go. So combine Cameron Jordan being a clear first round pick with Jordan Cameron being a well-known fourth round pick, there is no way that the Cleveland Browns could have confused the two. However, that being said, while they did not confuse them in the draft itself, there WAS a bit of confusion when they went to contact Jordan Cameron after they picked him.

Peter King had the great story at Sports Illustrated. When the Browns went to call Jordan Cameron, they accidentally called Cameron Jordan instead! King restated how the conversation went:

“Uh, yeah, this is Cameron Jordan, but the Saints already picked me. I think you mean Jordan Cameron. You’re looking for Jordan Cameron.”

Hilarious.

Amusingly enough, that wouldn’t be the end of teams confusing Jordan Cameron and Cameron Jordan, but that’s for another time!

The legend is…

STATUS: True

Thanks to Peter King for the great scoop!

Feel free (heck, I implore you!) to write in with your suggestions for future urban legends columns! My e-mail address is [email protected]

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