Cameron Erving, OL, Florida St.
Ht. 6054, Wt. 313, Arm: 34 1/8”, Hand: 10 3/8”, Bench: 30
40 yd: 5.15, 10 yd.: 1.84, 3 Cone: 7.48, Vertical: 30.5”, Broad: 9’4”
Games Watched: Notre Dame, Virginia, at Miami
The strength of the 2014 Cowboys was undoubtedly the offensive line, but that doesn’t mean there isn’t room for improvement. The line struggled (relatively) in pass protection and the lack of depth should alarm fans.
Florida State’s Cameron Erving played in 13 games as a defensive tackle during his redshirt freshman season before moving to left tackle and starting every game his second year. He won the Jacobs Blocking Trophy — awarded to the ACC’s top offensive lineman — twice and was voted all-conference as a left tackle and center in 2014.
Versatility is Erving’s most obvious plus. Not many offensive linemen have the length and athleticism to play tackle and the strength and awareness to play inside. Erving could play center on Day 1 and he’s likely only a little added strength from being effective at every position along the line.
Erving’s athleticism stands out as a left tackle, flashing a good kick slide and feet that help him excel in mirroring defenders. He had a tough test against Virginia’s Eli Harold — a possible top-50 pick — and virtually neutralized him.
Erving excels in man and zone blocking schemes. Where he really impressed me, though, was his blocking at the second level. He looks to punish linebackers yet is quick enough to erase defensive backs.
Players who can “out-athlete” other players tend to lag in technical development. At times, Erving is inefficient with his footwork, lets defenders into his body and fails to sink his hips. He got away with it in college, but NFL defenders won’t let him.
Even with arms longer than 34 inches, Erving put up 30 reps on bench. His lower body wasn’t quite as strong, though. He needs to improve his anchor strength before he can be effective outside of center.
Verdict: First Rounder
Erving looked like a possible first-round pick as a left tackle, but then he looked even better when he moved inside to center in 2014. The last player that offered that kind of versatility was Maurkice Pouncey.
The Cowboys obviously have greater needs at other positions, but the draft is where you take the best player available. Call it a gut feeling that Erving might be the best player on the board at pick No. 27, and Dallas should take him if he is.