Cleveland Browns: 5 options to replace Alex Mack
By Thomas Moore
Former general manager Ray Farmer made the surprise move of selecting Cameron Erving in the first round of the 2015 NFL Draft with the Browns having other holes to fill outside of the offensive line. The idea, presumably, was that Erving would represent an insurance policy in case Mack left in free agency and, if not, then Erving would provide depth along the offensive line at numerous positions.
It didn’t work out so well for Erving during his rookie year as he had major struggles in just about every area imaginable for an offensive lineman and only found his way into the lineup due to injuries. Even that was short-lived as he was replaced by Austin Pasztor, who entered the league in 2012 as an undrafted free agent.
Erving will have the advantage of a full offseason to refine his technique and work on his strength, plus going through a second year of minicamps, OTAs and training camp, which can only help. It still could be a lot to ask for Erving to not only figure out the basics of line play at the NFL level, but also to be responsible for making the line calls as the starting center.
If the Browns are not quite ready to turn things over to Erving, they could slide John Greco over to center – a position he temporarily filled when Mack went down with an injury in 2014 – and then let Erving and Pasztor battle it out to fill Greco’s vacated right guard slot.
Next: Manuel Ramirez