Cleveland Browns: 4 thoughts on the state of the offensive line
By Joel W. Cade
2. Hal Hunter understands Cam Erving
Cam Erving was the 19th overall pick in the 2015 Draft. He was the second first-round pick for the Browns. At the time, the Browns were [still are?] in desperate need of a wide receiver. With Breshad Perriman still on the board, the pick of Erving was not a popular one.
Although not a popular pick, he was the right pick. With the continuous injuries to Perriman, the pick of Erving makes former general manager Ray Farmer look smart, provided Erving can play center in the NFL. According to Hunter, Erving’s athleticism is what separates him from others at the position. “He [Erving] can really run and change directions for a big tall high cut guy. In Indianapolis we were looking at him as a left tackle. That is how athletic he is.”
Erving is a big, athletic interior lineman with a mean streak like no other. He fits the mold of the offensive line the Browns are trying to create in Cleveland. In a recent press conference Erving stated “I just want to be a nasty player.” He will need that nasty streak during the upcoming season.
Erving’s mean streak will be a valuable asset as he attempts to fill the void left in the wake of Alex Mack’s departure. Understandably fans are a bit nervous about Erving given his noticeable struggles last season.
The good news is Hal Hunter understands exactly why Erving struggled last season.
"“When you are spending all week playing left tackle one day, playing some tight end, playing left guard, right guard, taking a little reps at center, that is doing it all. At this level you better hunker down at one position.”"
Providing Erving with the opportunity to settle-in at center may be enough to turn Erving into an efficient starting center this season. The ceiling is high for Erving. He has the athleticism and ability that merits a first round pick. But beyond Cam Erving, the center position is unsettled. If he were to be injured, what would be the Browns plan?
Next: The other options at center