Too Much to Tweet: Remember Mark Dell?

Mark Dell

Mark Dell -- can he develop, or is he just another camp-practice wonder?

As workouts begin, it’s worth glancing back at someone who turned a few heads before injuring his knee in the preseason opener at Dallas last year.

  • @ChazzVineberg: I seem to remember Mark Dell having a pretty good camp before his injury as well.

Yes, he did. But as a general rule, no group of position players is more likely to jump out — but less likely to have it translate to actual, full-contact, full-speed work — than wide receivers.

Perhaps you remember some other standouts of camps past — names like Frank Rice, Darius Watts, Atnaf Harris (yes, his name really is “Fanta” spelled backwards), Todd Devoe and David Kircus. You may even recall Adrian Madise, whose finest moments came in the 2003 minicamp. Madise then started training camp so strongly that Peter King was moved to write, “Adrian Madise will play in the Pro Bowl some day.”

Madise’s career offensive totals? Two catches for 10 yards; one rush for 10 yards.

Every year, some receiver strings together a few dynamic receptions over a few days that draw the loudest roars of training camp. Every year, that receiver finds himself at the center of a post-practice media scrum, with all of us eager to learn more about this latest bolt from the blue.

And almost all of them fade away, perhaps to hang on the practice squad or the fringe of the 53-man roster for a year or two, only to be replaced — often by the following year’s camp sensation.

So let’s see what Dell does this summer. But in general, it’s wise to not take a receiver’s camp accomplishments too seriously unless he replicates them in preseason games — beyond just the one catch for 26 yards he mustered before being injured last year.

That’s not being skeptical. That’s just reality.

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About Andrew Mason

Andrew Mason has covered the NFL since 1999, when he worked as an editor on NFL.com when the site was managed by ESPN.com. He worked six seasons (2002-07) covering the Broncos on their official website and two (2008-09) on the Panthers' site. He began MaxDenver.com in 2010 and now contributes to CBSSports.com, The Sporting News and The New York Times.

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