The first round of the offensive tackle bracket for the FRG Summer Scouting Bracketology series has seen Andrus Peat (Stanford) advance past Spencer Drango (Baylor) and, most recently, Brandon Scherff (Iowa) crushed Corey Robinson (South Carolina). The next match-up on the docket features two more highly regarded offensive tackles in Texas A&M’s Cedric Ogbuehi and Florida State’s Cameron Erving.
Cedric Ogbuehi, the redshirt senior offensive tackle, enters the 2014 college football season after two seasons of significant playing time as a starter at three different positions. In 2013, Ogbuehi started all 13 games at right tackle after starting all 12 games at right guard in 2012. In 2011, Ogbuehi also saw action in 6 additional starts at guard. Prior to committing to Texas A&M, Ogbuehi had scholarship offers from Nebraska, Kansas, Texas Tech and Oklahoma State. He was considered a 4 star recruit by Rivals.com.
Cameron Erving enters the 2014 season after having started all 14 games at left tackle in 2013 resulting in his selection as a First Team All-ACC pick as well as a selection as Second Team All-American. He was the winner of the 2013 Jacobs Blocking Trophy, which is awarded to the ACC’s top offensive lineman. In 2012, Erving started all 14 games at left tackle (a season after appearing in every game as a defensive tackle.) Erving was a 3 star recruit and had offers from Clemson and Georgia Southern.
Tale of the Tape:
Size (estimated and based on listed measureables from college player pages):
Cedric Ogbuehi: 6’5″, 300lbs
Cameron Erving: 6’6″, 302lbs
Notes: Both Ogbuehi and Erving are within the desired range of offensive tackles in the NFL. In fact, and based on the height/weight listed on their team player pages, they’re separated by only one inch and two pounds. However, looking at the numbers doesn’t tell the full story of their overall frame and body composition.
Ogbuehi is more solidly built and has an even distribution of weight between his upper and lower body. Erving has a narrower torso, but he sports thick legs with a big bubble (rear.) He’s also long, with arms likely to measure-in at a desirable number. Both players possess physical attributes that you want in tackle prospects, even if they don’t quite look the same on tape. They’ll each likely add a few pounds in the pros, as the ideal range of weight for tackles is between that 305-320 range.
For the first time in the Summer Scouting Bracketology series, there is no clear winner here. Both Erving and Ogbuehi meet the NFL’s standards for size, and with only one inch, two pounds and not much in length separating the two of them, there’s no choice but to call this a “push.” That said, the fact that Ogbuehi appears tighter and well-distributed will be noted by scouts. I just can’t give either player the edge, though.
Notes: Cameron Erving flashes moments on tape where his strength and overall ability as a power player in the run game is on display. He’s still inconsistent and needs work on his technique, but his thick base and stronger than expected upper-half provide more than enough pop to really stun the defender and drive him back. As I previously stated, he needs work on his technique and overall consistency in order to take advantage of his natural power.
Much like Erving, Ogbuehi displays adequate power and strength to hold up in the NFL. He’s a bit more athletic, though, and will probably enjoy a more consistent level of success in the NFL as a step and seal prospect than he will as straight-up mauler. That’s not to say he can’t do it, though, as on multiple occasions Ogbuehi locked onto his opponent and completely drove him out of the play. Part of Ogbuehi’s issue is his hand play, as he needs to get a better and more consistent fit on the chest plate of the defender. When he loses the initial leverage battle, he has a hard time recovering and looks like an average NFL prospect. By contrast, when he uncoils his hands and gets a good fit, Ogbuehi flashes elite potential. His 2014 tape will be really important for him in terms of his projection as a power player, finesse player, or both.
At this point in the process, both Erving and Ogbuehi show equal power potential that is neutralized at times by lacking consistency in technique. While I’d like to say one player flashes more strength than the other, I simply can’t.
Movement Skills/Athletic Ability
Notes: Cameron Erving is an interesting study because he’s clearly a good athlete, but at times he can get so sloppy with his technique that it makes him appear goofy and even uncoordinated at times. He’s flexible and has good bend, showing comfort when sitting deep into his stance with little trouble. But there are moments where his awareness and/or an understanding of his opponent’s counter moves are in question, causing him to look panicked while in recovery mode. He is light on his feet and can get to the second level, but he needs to take a pretty significant leap in his lateral agility to combat the outside/inside pass rush.
Ogbuehi is a smoother and more reliable player on the move, both when engaging the defender and when moving in space either down the LOS or into the second level. He displays quick and coordinated feet, and has the flexibility and ability to sit into his stance, play with good pad level and fire out. He moves quickly off the snap of the ball and has the lateral agility needed to mirror active defenders.
Finally, we have a winner in one of the head-to-head categories. Ogbuehi is the superior athlete when it comes to his on-field coordination. And while I’m confident that Erving will showcase top-tier athletic ability during the NFL Draft process, he is a good example of how lacking field awareness can hinder your natural abilities. There’s no denying that Erving has the athleticism needed to potentially become one of the best prospects at the tackle position, but he needs to show that he’s worked hard this off-season at becoming a master of his craft.
Advantage: Cedric Ogbuehi
Notes: In the passing game, Ogbuehi displays a good, quick kick step and is rarely the last linemen to get moving at the snap of the ball. He will have to get better with his hands, however, as he tends to absorb contact and allows the bull rusher to get into his body. In fact, he leaves his chest as an easy target for the defender to strike and gain the leverage advantage. While he wins in those situations because of his plus strength and sound base, NFL defenders will be able to take advantage of this flaw. He’s an active and fluid protector when mirroring defenders on the edge and displayed the ability to recover versus speed guys that beat him to the corner. It is worth noting, however, that some of Ogbuehi’s struggles versus speed were neutralized by Johnny Manziel’s ability to step up/around/behind/beyond the pass rusher like few quarterbacks are capable of. It will be a big season for Ogbuehi in an effort to establish that he is truly an elite blindside protector regardless off the escapability of his quarterback.
Cameron Erving is an adequate prospect versus power rushers, but really labors to keep up with speed players. He doesn’t possess the technical skills as a pass protector to project favorably as a left side player in the NFL. That said, Erving flashes moments of big time ability, especially when he uncoils his long arms and gets his hands into his opponent. He’s strong enough to keep pass rushers at bay; he simply needs to work on technique (which is a consistent theme when going through Erving’s 2013 tape.) He’ll be blocking for one of the country’s highest-profile quarterbacks in Jameis Winston, so any lacking effort in pass protection will be magnified. One thing is for sure, Erving will have a chance to showcase himself as a true blue-chip talent while under the microscope that is sure to be on Florida State all season long.
At this juncture, Cedric Ogbuehi is simply the better offensive tackle when it comes to protecting his quarterback. While both players have their issues versus speed, Ogbuehi is a much better technician with his feet and has a better understanding of what the defender is trying to do (re: pass rush.) They are equally strong and can both hold up versus the bull rush, but Ogbuehi displays left tackle traits in pass protection, whereas Erving’s struggles with consistency would make me worry about him lining up on the blindside.
Advantage: Cedric Ogbuehi
Notes: In the run game, Cameron Erving is an aggressive power player who keeps his legs driving through contact. He was a big factor in the Seminoles success on the ground last year. That said, Erving can get sloppy at the POA and tends to lean/lunge into contact. He ends up on the ground a bit too much for my liking. His athleticism is a plus when getting out into space, and he looks like he could be a fit in either a ZBS or an in-line power scheme.
Cedric Ogbuehi generates good power from his lower half with a good pop on contact while constantly driving/chopping through the play (much like Erving). He is tough and mean enough to thrive in a traditional power scheme, but his real appeal is his diversity as he is equally capable of being a starter on a zone blocking scheme. Ogbuehi will have a lot of teams interested in him next Spring largely because of how diverse he appears to be at this stage of his development.
Both players are sound run blockers and will enhance their future employers’ running games. However, and has been stated over and over again in this breakdown, Erving is simply too inconsistent and sloppy at the POA for me to feel comfortable enough with to give him the edge over Ogbuehi. And while the Aggie isn’t the most dominant or elite player that I’ve watched in the running game over the years, he certainly displays NFL starter’s talent and is more advanced than Erving at this juncture.
Advantage: Cedric Ogbuehi
Cedric Ogbuehi advances to the semi’s with this victory over Cameron Erving, but I anticipated this match-up to be a lot more lopsided than it actually ended up being. In fact, if Erving’s 2013 tape displayed some more consistency and technique, it could have resulted in a toss-up. I think Ogbuehi is a tad bit overrated by the national media right now, and he’s going to have to prove that he wasn’t the beneficiary of an all-world scrambler when it comes to his ability as a pass protector. While Ogbuehi certainly displays some very good NFL traits on film, his lacking hand play and approach at the POA in pass protection is a real concern. He has a great opportunity in 2014 to show development in that area, and if he does, he’ll see his stock elevate even higher than his somewhat hyped preseason stature.