Scouting the 2015 Draft: Cameron Erving

Each draft, it seems like there’s a certain guy who can play any position along the offensive line. Last year it was Zach Martin, who went to Dallas and made the leap to the NFL look easy. He quickly locked down his position, playing right guard. It could have been other slots - he’s that versatile. He reminds me a lot of Cameron Erving.

Given the lack of cohesion along the Broncos line, a man who can move from tackle to center is a very good investment. Erving can, and he's expected to go between rounds two and four, according to Guesstimating in which round a player will go this far before the draft is often a fool’s errand. Even so, from watching film I’d say that this fool thinks he’ll be gone by the end of round two. Erving could be worth a higher or lower draft pick, but it’s a numbers game. There just aren’t that many talented offensive linemen.

The biggest problem with writing at this point is that no one knows what Denver will want to do with the line. Orlando Franklin is gone. Ben Garland backed him up occasionally last year. He could do it permanently, but Gary Kubiak has said that it’s a stretch. Shelley Smith will be competing with him.

Matt Paradis might or might not be ready to start, and Gino Gradkowski is guaranteed nothing. Manny Ramirez may have to be replaced, whether via free agency or the draft. There’s no direct position for him. Louis Vasquez belongs at right guard and shouldn’t be placed where he’s at a lesser advantage. We’re waiting to see on Michael Schofield, who's said to be carrying more weight.

How versatile is Erving? He played well at left tackle before Florida State needed him at center. He’s played guard, with equal results. If he can handle the leap to the NFL, he could start at whichever position is required for years to come. Erving played defensive tackle as a medical redshirt freshman. He had some back problems that never returned. About halfway through the season, he was moved to left tackle. Menelik Watson was his right tackle. He stayed there until moving to center midway through the 2014 season. He did himself a favor by staying in school in 2014. Most scouts project him at center or right tackle in the NFL. He was a solid protector for Jameis Winston in 2014.

Erving has had occasional problems with position-specific skills. That’s the downside of a player who can play several roles. They frequently don’t get the chance to maximize their skills in one or another. Erving is very quick for his size and moves well on the edge. He also has the strength to be a downhill run-blocker. He boasts a pretty remarkable combination of size (6-5, 313 pounds) and athleticism.

Cam improved as the season progressed. He needs to continue to work on his kick slide and blocking fundamentals. However, he’s position-versatile, athletic, and has good size. Staying through his senior year helped him develop for the NFL. He’s ready to put that to work. Multi-skilled linemen are valuable. If they’re talented, they’re even more so. Erving is.

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