|Class:||RS Junior||40 time:||N/A|
Before the 2013 NCAA Football season began there was little argument that Texas A&M‘s Jake Matthews, Michigan‘s Taylor Lewan, and Alabama‘s Cyrus Kouandjio were the top three offensive tackle prospects among the players eligible for the 2014 NFL Draft. However, Lewan and Kouandjio have had slightly disappointing seasons, and now Florida State‘s Cameron Erving has improved enough to where he may be the second tackle selected in the upcoming draft.
It’s rather amazing what Florida State’s coaching staff has been able to do with Erving over just a two-year period. He came to the school as a three-star defensive tackle prospect, and after redshirting his first year due to injury he came back in 2011 and saw decent playing time on the defensive line, recording 20 tackles. As the Seminoles sought to find a new left tackle in the spring of 2012, though, they decided Erving was the man and moved him over to the offensive side of the ball. He was baptized under fire and had to find his way during the season, but ultimately he ended up playing very well. Partially as a result of his outstanding play, the Seminoles ended up in the Discover Orange Bowl.
This year, Erving has been even more polished, and he seems to now be truly comfortable at left tackle. He and his fellow offensive linemen have contributed significantly to one of the most prolific offenses in the country, and they’re a major reason that Florida State is in position to play in the National Championship Game.
Erving’s fatal flaw as a redshirt sophomore was his tendency to get beat to his inside shoulder on pass blocks. This year, though, he seems to have corrected the issue as he has figured out how to cut down those pass rushers and take them out of the play instead of letting them get to the quarterback. Obviously, with his relative inexperience as an offensive lineman, he still has room to improve his technique, but at this point it’s difficult to find any serious flaws in his game.
It certainly couldn’t hurt Erving to return to school for his redshirt senior year because of the extra experience he could get. But more significantly it may give him a chance at being the draft’s first overall pick, depending on how the market for linemen is. With that said, it won’t hurt Erving to come out this year either, as he has a great chance at being a first rounder and will be part of a draft that likely will be full of teams looking for line depth. Depending on how he performs in his bowl game and at the combine, Erving could even vault himself into the top 10.
- Extremely physical, gets a strong push off the ball
- Very quick for a tackle, could be a guy who wows at the combine
- Great at getting to the second level and making solid contact
- Athleticism is good enough that he can get 20 yards downfield on run plays and block defensive backs
- Dominant run blocker who will run defenders into the ground
- Plays in a balanced pro-style offense
- Gives good effort, always blocks to the whistle
- Pass blocking, particularly getting beat on his inside shoulder, has been an issue through his college career, though he seems to have corrected his problems during 2013
- Pass protection technique is a bit sloppy and should be corrected
- Probably could benefit from increased conditioning as he seems to wear down late in some games
Erving is the anchor of an offensive line that has allowed the Seminoles to operate the highest-scoring offense in the FBS during 2013. While it certainly doesn’t hurt that they have Jameis Winston running the show, Erving and his line mates have been a huge part in FSU being able to put up 5857 total yards of offense. Erving has clearly upped his game during his redshirt junior year, and it was particularly impressive when he was able to shut down Clemson‘s Vic Beasley, who has been one of the nation’s top pass rushers this year. If Erving and the Seminoles are able to win out and make it into the BCS Championship Game, he’ll have a spectacular stage on which to prove exactly how far he’s come.
2014 Draft Projection: First Round