Cameron Erving came to Florida State as a defensive lineman but eventually surprised with his efficiency at left tackle, and then center, for the Seminoles. With Alex Mack possibly opting out of the five-year, $42 million contract he signed in April 2014, and with right tackle Mitchell Schwartz mastering his turnstile impersonations throughout his NFL career, Erving does make sense here—even to distressed Browns fans who would like to know why they didn't take a receiver with either of their first-round picks.
Erving could slide into that right tackle spot right away, and Schwartz could kick inside to guard. The left side of Cleveland's line is already in great shape with Joe Thomas and Joel Bitonio, and this pick addresses a lot of potential problems.
Strengths: Moves from tackle to guard or from guard to center are relatively commonplace. Rare is the lineman who has the quickness to hold his own at left tackle and the power to play center. While Erving’s future now appears set at the latter spot, multi-positional background looks good on the resume. Quick out of his stance, even with added responsibility of handling snaps. Can get to the second level, helps block down for his guards and is fast enough to pull. Strength is evident as a run-blocker driving forward, as well as a pass-protector anchoring against power rushes. Handled mental aspect of midseason position change without any issues, which NFL teams surely noticed.—CB
Weaknesses: Has played all of five games at center so the transition will take some time and it might be a bit rocky out of the gate. How well he adjusts to NFL-level center responsibilities in camp will determine his early playing time. At tackle, would rise out of his stance early to try to stick with quicker rushers outside. Mostly limited that instinct at center, but it’s one he needs to keep buried. Technique at center, not surprisingly, is a work in progress. Until it does he will have a hard time launching forward against defensive tackles.—CB
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