Gary Mihoces, USAToday:
For Florida State's final five games last season, Cameron Erving shared the spotlight with star quarterback Jameis Winston — sort of. Erving was the starting center snapping Winston the ball.

The route the 6-5, 313-pound Erving took to get to that position is a testament to his abilities as a transformer.

He played defensive tackle as a redshirt freshman for the Seminoles. He started at left tackle the next season. That's where he stayed until last November, when he was switched to center in a reshuffling aimed at bolstering the offensive line.

There have been 120 2015 NFL mock drafts done, so far. In today's version, versatile offensive lineman Cameron Erving is slated to be the final pick of the first round by the New England Patriots. Just six months ago, OT Andrus Peat of Stanford University was projected to be a first round selection by the Patriots. Andrus has moved up the draft list, reaching as high as the 11th pick by the Minnesota Vikings. Most recently, Peat will remain in California with the San Diego Chargers selecting him with the 17th choice.

ESPN analyst Mel Kiper Jr. has Cameron Erving rated as a first-round pick. Erving is the top-rated center, but he could be used anywhere up front. At the scouting combine, Erving had a vertical leap of 30.5 inches and did 30 repetitions in the 225-pound bench press.

Kiper said it commands attention "anytime you're in that 30-30 situation in terms of bench press reps and vertical ... and you're as big as he is and as talented as he is and as versatile."

That is music to the ears of New England Patriots' head coach Bill Belichick.

Mel Kiper Jr., the NFL draft guru, became a household name after the 1989 NFL draft. The New York Jets were selecting 14th in the first round, and chose DE Jeff Lageman from the University of Virginia. Lageman was considered undersized to play upfront in a 4-3 defense. Mel wanted the Jets to select WR Hart Lee Dykes from Oklahoma State University. Hart Lee was a big receiver who had flourished in the OSU offense playing on the same team as dynamic running backs, Thurman Thomas and Barry Sanders. Dykes was a two sport athlete who was also selected by the Chicago White Sox in the Major League Baseball draft.

Lageman had a solid 10 year NFL career with the New York Jets and Jacksonville Jaguars. Mel Kiper Jr. never mentioned that Lageman had scored 1510 on his college SAT scores, and recorded one of the highest wonderlic personnel test scores in NFL history. Hart Lee Dykes played two seasons with the New England Patriots. Hart Lee was the 16th player taken in the 1989 NFL draft. His career was cut short when he fractured his kneecap, and sustained an eye injury during a bar room fight with teammate Irving Fryar in 1990. The Patriots released Dykes after the 1990 season. Dykes caught 83 passes for 1,344 yards and seven touchdowns in his brief career.

"Sometimes you win, sometimes you learn." Every loss can become a positive learning experience. The NFL draft is not an exact science.

Paul Murphy is a freelance writer from New Hampshire. .

Follow me on Twitter at @_prmurphy

For more of my articles, click here.

Paul Murphy 4/27/2015 01:38:00 PM Edit

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