Can single-block defensive tackles in pass protection
Very fast to the second level
Plays with excellent technique
Snaps the ball with good velocity
Can match up on speed rushers
Anchors well against bull rushers
Effective in double-teams
Makes impact blocks on the second level to spring running backs
A little stiff
Shouldn't play left tackle in the NFL
Back injury cost him 2010 season
Summary: Anytime you have a quarterback prospect who wins a Heisman Trophy and a National Championship while posting back-to-back undefeated regular seasons, and is the future No. 1-overall pick in for the NFL draft, you know that he received some good blocking in college to have that kind of success. That quarterback this year is Florida State's Jameis Winston, and the best blocker over Winston's epic 2-year run in Tallahassee was Erving. For the majority of that time, Erving protected Winston's blind side, but NFL teams are excited about Erving being the anchor in the middle of the offensive line.
One can see Erving's sheer athleticism as he started out playing defensive tackle in 2011 as a redshirt freshman. The Seminoles moved Erving to left tackle in 2012, and the sophomore ended up starting 14 games there. He formed a nice duo with Menelik Watson on the right side. 2013 was Erving's best season at left tackle, including a nice game against Clemson and Vic Beasley.
2014 though was like a tale of two seasons for Erving. Early in the year, he struggled in pass protection at left tackle, including contests against Notre Dame, Oklahoma State and Louisville. That was the case versus Clemson as Beasley had his way with him in their rematch. However, the Seminoles didn't help Erving as he lined up tight on the line of scrimmage rather than back in his stance. That gave speed rushers like Beasley an extra step on Erving, and NFL teams rarely ever line up their left tackle like that in pass sets. NFL sources were critical of Florida State's scheme in this regard and how it puts the offensive tackles at a disadvantage.
Midway through the season, the Seminoles moved Erving to center, and the results were tremendous. He was an animal on the inside. Erving would move defenders in the ground game and was rock solid in pass protection. It was very impressive that Erving could make that move mid-season and execute the position so well immediately. He finished his college career at center playing his best football.
Erving is very quick for his size when considered as a center and is very athletic. He hurries to the second level and hits blocks on linebacker or defensive backs. Erving is also very large for a center with a rare combination of strength and speed. That helps him be very good in pass protection as he can single-block defensive tackles. With Erving's size, heavy defensive tackles can't bull rush him, and he has the quickness and athleticism to handle speedy tackles. Erving is very good at executing double-teams with his guards and picking up blitzers coming down the middle. Erving has the size and strong base to match up against heavy zero-technique nose tackles from a 3-4 as well.
For the NFL, Erving could be a 10-year starter at center and has Pro Bowl potential. He could be the best center prospect since Mike Pouncey came out in the 2011 NFL Draft. Sources tell WalterFootball.com that Erving could go as high as the middle of the first round. He probably is a mid- to late first-round pick. If Erving somehow slips out of the first round of the 2015 NFL Draft, he won't last long on Friday night.
Player Comparison: Mike Pouncey. In speaking with NFL sources, they say that Erving's athletic skill set is similar to Pouncey. Pouncey might have a bit more strength, speed and athleticism, but Erving isn't that far off. They both are big linemen for the center position who can be assets in run blocking and pass protection while still having the versatility for any NFL scheme. Pouncey and his brother Maurkice were top-20 picks, and Erving could go that high in the 2015 NFL Draft.
NFL Matches: Houston, San Diego, Kansas City, Arizona, Denver, Chicago
There a few teams that are looking to land a new starting center in the NFL. The highest that Erving could hope to go is to the Texans. They released veteran Chris Myers and are turning to Ben Jones at center. Erving could be Houston's long-term starter at center and and allow the organization to have Jones compete at left guard with Xavier Su'a-Filo.
The Chargers went through five centers during the 2014 season. San Diego needs long-term starter in front of Philip Rivers. Erving makes a lot of sense to the Chargers with the 17th-overall pick.
Staying in the AFC West, the Chiefs lost Rodney Hudson in free agency, and he was their best offensive lineman last year. Kansas City could fill that hole by taking Erving in the first round of the 2015 NFL Draft. Up in Denver, the Broncos center Will Montgomery is 32 years old, and an athletic blocker like Erving is a good fit in Gary Kubiak's zone-blocking scheme.
The Cardinals could continue to build up their offensive line with a long-term center. Starter Lyle Sendlein is 31.
Chicago needs a long-term center, but Erving is unlikely to make it to the Bears' pick in the second round. If Erving slides, Chicago could potentially trade up from that spot to snag Erving.