As speculation heats up on what position Cleveland Browns draft pick Cameron Erving will play, the 313-pounder from Florida State has an answer:
"Offensive lineman," Erving said, eliciting chuckles in the crowd at his introductory press conference. "People say that's the politically correct answer, but that's just my honest answer. I'll do anything the team needs me to do."
The Browns' brass has said Erving's position will be settled on the field and more clarity will emerge during next week's rookie minicamp. Still, the well-spoken rookie started engraining himself into Cleveland's culture long before he knew he was going to become a Brown.
Erving was recruited to play for the Seminoles as a defensive lineman but immediately made the switch to tackle upon arriving in Tallahassee. When he shifted sides of the ball, Erving started watching film of accomplished offensive linemen who were Florida State teammates and a surprise figure: the Browns' very own Joe Thomas.
Instantly, Erving admired the way Thomas aligned himself so no pass rusher could beat him on the edge. And a defensive lineman, rarely, if ever, can beat Thomas by attacking him on the inside. When Erving played left tackle at Florida State before moving to center, it was Thomas that served as his inspiration.
"Man, he's just a consistent player," Erving said. "He's just one of those guys where you watch his sets and you try and see what he does – his stance, his steps, his technique, how he uses his hands.
"It was a great example to look at. Joe Thomas is going to be a Hall of Famer one day."