The 2015 NFL Draft will be held on April 30 through May 2 in Chicago, and it is a time where the 32 NFL teams will look to add some pieces to improve both this year and in future years. The Indianapolis Colts currently have nine picks in the Draft, including at least one in each round, and therefore they should be active on Draft day. Who might they target? We're taking a look at a number of different prospects, and today we take a look at Florida State offensive lineman Cameron Erving.
Believe it or not, Cameron Erving was named first-team All ACC at tackle and third team All ACC at center in the 2014 season while winning the ACC Jacob's Trophy (given to the best lineman in the ACC by the head coaches and defensive coordinators) for the second year in a row. He was a defensive tackle when he came to Florida State but he was converted to an offensive lineman, and he started 42 consecutive games up front on the offensive side of the football for the Seminoles to conclude his career. The 6-5, 313 pound lineman started every game of the 2012 and 2013 seasons at left tackle, and then started the first nine games there in 2014 before moving to center for the final five games of the season.
Erving is a guy who plays with a lot of toughness and has the quickness that you like in offensive linemen. He is a good run blocker who can hold his own in pass protection as well. A consistent player who started 42 games in a row for Florida State. Has the versatility to play a couple of spots along the offensive line. He's still relatively new at playing offensive line and has only played five games at center, so there is quite a bit of potential and room for improvement.
As mentioned in the "pros" section too, he's still rather new to playing offensive line and therefore is a bit raw in terms of development. He should continue to develop nicely, but at this point he still has some stuff to work on - mainly in terms of the details and techniques of playing center.
Big Board Rankings
NFL.com (Mike Mayock) - number 2 interior offensive lineman
CBSSports.com - 24th overall, number 1 center
Mocking the Draft - 51st overall, number 1 offensive center
Mock Draft Predictions
How Would He Help the Colts?
Cameron Erving is undoubtedly the best center available in this year's draft class, and I don't expect him to be available at pick number 29 when the Colts select. A number of people think he might be, however, as Erving has been a popular pick to the Colts in the past month, and if he were available he would be an intriguing player to consider.
Here are two things that we know about the center position for the Colts: 1) there's still a lot of unknowns there, and 2) the Colts really like the talent they have in Khaled Holmes and Jonotthan Harrison. That's why they didn't go after a free agent center and that's why I wouldn't expect them to target a center early in the draft either. Holmes is projected to be their starter next season and he has potential but is unproven. Harrison is a good backup option who the Colts will continue to work with after he started ten games a year ago, showing some promise but overall showing that he wasn't ready to start in the NFL yet. I like Erving better than either Holmes or Harrison, but that doesn't mean that the Colts would jump at the opportunity to take the Florida State center in the first round.
Rather, I think they might be more inclined to look to the defensive side of the football rather than take a center. And even if they were to go with offensive line help, I think their first target would be adding help at either right guard or right tackle, not at center. None of this is to say that the Colts won't or shouldn't take Cameron Erving if he were available at pick number 29. But we know the Colts like the guys they have, and there are bigger needs elsewhere. Those are the facts.
I think it would be a move for the Colts to consider if Erving were available (which, again, I don't expect), but I think the best option they would have is to add someone on the defensive side of the ball and go with Khaled Holmes at center, as they like him but need to see him in extended action to make a better judgement.