The Browns selected Florida State offensive lineman Cameron Erving with the 19th overall pick in the first round of the NFL Draft on Thursday night.
The 6-foot-6, 308-pound Erving is known for his versatility. He earned All-American honors as a left tackle during his junior season in 2013. As a senior last season, he started nine games at left tackle and the final five at center.
Browns coach Mike Pettine said Erving's position with the Browns is to be determined.
The Browns had reasons to invest in their O-line. Right tackle Mitchell Schwartz is scheduled to become an unrestricted free agent next year, and two-time Pro Bowl center Alex Mack can opt out of his five-year, $42 million after the upcoming season.
Earlier in the first round, the Browns used the 12th overall selection to secure Washington nose tackle Danny Shelton.
The Browns acquired No. 19 in the draft last year from the Buffalo Bills by trading down from No. 4 to No. 9. The Browns later traded up to No. 8 and took cornerback Justin Gilbert, who struggled on and off the field as a rookie.
Here is a breakdown of Erving from NFLDraftScout.com analyst Dane Brugler's draft guide:
BACKGROUND: A three-star defensive tackle recruit out of high school, Cameron “Cam” Erving was unheralded as a recruit receiving only three offers: Florida State, Clemson and Georgia Southern, committing to the Seminoles shortly after they offered. After redshirting in 2010 because of a back injury, he served as a back-up defensive tackle in 2011 as a redshirt freshman, recording 20 tackles, 2.5 tackles for loss and 1.0 sack. Erving made the transition to the offensive line prior to his sophomore season and won the left tackle job, starting all 14 games in 2012 (switched from #98 to #75). He again started all 14 games at left tackle in 2013 as a junior and was awarded the Jacobs Blocking Trophy, which is given to the ACC’s top offensive lineman (voted by the coaches), also earning All-American and First Team All-ACC honors. Erving started the first nine games at left tackle in 2014 as a senior before kicking inside to center where he started the final five games, earning First Team All-ACC honors and the Jacobs Blocking Trophy for the second straight year. He was invited to the 2015 Senior Bowl, but chose not to participate.
STRENGTHS: Wide, flexible base with long arms and heavy hands…sets up well off the snap with low pad level and natural knee bend…flexible coil to attack bodies, lock out and drive rushers away from run lanes – takes full advantage of his limb extension…good-enough base strength to hold his ground vs. bull rushers, digging his cleats to anchor…good vision and awareness to sink-and-recover…loose hips and joints with the lower body athleticism to operate in space…clear understanding of body positioning and angles, pulling well to get into space…looks to bury his man with good fight through the whistle – shows consistent competitiveness on each snap…versatile experience at defensive tackle, left tackle and center…quick-learner and smart as he was responsible for all the line calls at Florida State…durable and reliable with 42 consecutive starts the last three seasons…mature, team-first attitude and considered a hard-working self-starter by his coaches.
WEAKNESSES: Will overset off the snap and needs to stay patient, laboring in his kickslide and leaving his body open for rushers in pass pro…choppy footwork with below average body control, struggling to recover when beat in space, spending too much time on the ground…overextends and needs to be more patient with his punches…bad habit of stopping his feet at contact and lowering his eyes at the point of attack, allowing rushers to re-gather and beat him with secondary moves…inconsistent hand use and will get grabby…lacks the functional strength to consistently halt rushers when off-balance…needs to keep his emotions in check, getting caught for after-whistle actions…medicals need checked out after missing the 2010 season due to a back injury.
SUMMARY: An All-American left tackle, Erving was the back-up center during FSU practices and moved inside full-time for the final five games of the 2014 season, solidifying the Seminoles offensive line and reinventing himself as a NFL prospect – appeared much more comfortable on tape at center. Although he started the last 42 games on the offensive line since moving over from defense, he is still raw in a lot of areas and not yet the sum of his parts, but the tools, intangibles and versatility are there for him to be a long-time NFL starter. Erving doesn’t have a preference at left tackle or center, but was a much better prospect inside, showing improved confidence and effectiveness in small quarters – top-40 prospect and the draft’s top center prospect.