For the second straight season, Florida State put a center into the NFL as Cameron Erving was selected was selected by Cleveland Browns in the 1st, with the No. 19 pick. Just a season after Bryan Stork was selected by the New England Patriots in the fourth round, Erving heard his name called by commissioner Roger Goodell.
Erving is a former two-star defensive line recruit from Moultrie, GA where he played his high school ball for Colquitt County. Not a highly sought after recruit, Erving red-shirted at Florida State in 2010 before contributing on the Noles' defensive line in 2011 as a backup to Everett Dawkins.
While Erving showed flashes of becoming a serviceable defensive tackle for FSU, Jimbo Fisher convinced the Sophomore to move to the offensive side of the ball, starting at left tackle for EJ Manuel's line in 2012. In 2013, Erving put together a memorable season for the eventual national champions of college football. The junior earned First Team All-American and ACC honors en route to winning the Jacobs Blocking Trophy, given to the ACC's best offensive lineman.
Erving decided to come back for his senior year in 2014 starting the season at left tackle before making a move to center to help an offensive line that needed a lot of help in the interior. The Seminole offense flourished after Erving made the move and it significantly increased his draft stock in the eyes of NFL scouts. Projected as a second or even third round left tackle, Erving's move to center paid off, evident by his first round selection.
Erving's biggest assets are his proficiency as a pass-blocker, his quickness as a big man, and his versatility to play multiple positions on the line. Erving is a good run-blocker, with room to improve into a great run-blocker as he takes more reps at the position. Eving also showed a nature of toughness, exploding to the second level to make multiple blocks in a play. It's this willingness to perform that pleased many scouts.
Where Erving must improve in the NFL is in learning to use better technique to distribute his weight when blocking, especially in using his legs more efficiently. However, most of his weaknesses are from a lack of playing the position in college. It really is important to note that he has only played on the offensive line for two years and just a few games at center. Erving has a chance to become an excellent professional center as he continues to learn the position.
For all your Florida State NFL Draft Coverage, follow the NFL Noles Hub.