Leading up to the offseason, the Buffalo Bills were expected to be aggressive in acquiring offensive line help. Instead, they aggressively acquired skill position players in Lesean McCoy, Percy Harvin and Charles Clay. Therefore, heading into the 2015 NFLDraft, the Bills will be in the market for an offensive lineman that can compete with one of the three rookies selected last year.
Tough. Tenacious. Versatile. Those are the first words I think of when looking at the career of Cameron Erving. Starting his career as a defensive tackle at Florida State, Cameron switched to offensive line and went on to start 42 consecutive games at tackle, guard and center. As if that wasn’t good enough, he received All-ACC honors at two positions his final year at FSU (1st team tackle/3rd team center) and the Jacobs award, given to the top ACC blocker.
Erving comes in at 6’5″ and 313 pounds and #75 gets the most out of his measurables:
Arm Length: 34 1/8″
Hand Size: 10 3/8″
10 Yard Dash: 1.87
40 Yard Dash: 5.15
Bench Press: 30
Vertical Jump: 30.5″
Broad Jump: 9’4″
3 Cone Drill: 7.48
20 Yard Shuttle: 4.63
At left tackle I was pretty impressed in general with Erving’s ability to drive block and get to the second level. Erving is more than willing to “get his nose dirty” driving defenders down the line. Towards the end of 2014, when he was tasked with playing center he not only did well at the new position, but made his interior teammates far more effective than they had been prior.
In space, Cameron’s great at getting to his target, though at times on screens he needs to give himself just a hair more time to settle his base before he engages the target. When he doesn’t, Erving is seen to slide off the defender as they try to get around him and to the ball-carrier.
I love Erving’s footwork. At tackle he was a dancing bear – mirroring his defender well and in case of emergency, using those vines for arms to ride the defender past the QB. at center, he was quite effective at turning rushers toward his help – either the left guard or a back in the backfield. The one issue I saw in his game (which is easily coachable) was post shotgun snap blocking. Because he would snap immediately after he got his head up, defenders were tipped to his count. To counter this, Erving at times would tip too far or waist-bend to make sure he made contact with his target. As I said, this is easily coached up at the next level, particularly when home and not at the whim of a silent count.
What’s not to like? Despite his newness to playing center, at times FSU would pull him to lead wide runs, a tough task for experienced centers, let alone emergency position switched guys like Erving. I can see him being effective at the NFL level getting out in front for screens, as well as pulling and protecting his QB on bootlegs.
In Greg Roman’s scheme, Erving could start day one at any position they wanted him to. If the Bills were lucky enough to have him available at 50, I would tear an achilles trying to run up to the podium to select him. He’s one of my five favorite players to watch in the draft (the other four being Hau’oli Kikaha, TJ Clemmings, Jay Ajayi and Clive Walford). However, because of his relative lack of warts and his scheme/positional versatility, I see him going in the late first – early second round.