As the 2015 NFL Draft, held April 30 - May 2 in Chicago, draws close, prognostication continues about which players the Falcons will target with not only their No. 8-overall pick, but also those in later rounds. According to the latest Mock Draft Monitor, NFL Media's Daniel Jeremiah has Dan Quinn's team selecting Nebraska outside linebacker Randy Gregory with their first pick before looking to add offensive weapons at center and tight end. He aired both predictions on a recent episode of NFL Network's Path to the Draft.
"I look at the center spot," Jeremiah said. "Potentially at No. 42, Cam Erving from Florida State. If he were to get to (pick) No. 42, I think that is an outstanding value pick. He played tackle early on in his career, basically throughout his career, this year after the season, he moves to center and really upped his stock. I think he'd be a great fit for the Falcons, potentially at 42."
Erving's versatility would be a welcomed sight in the very active scheme designed by Falcons offensive coordinator Kyle Shanahan, who said his offensive lineman are likely going to be running more than they ever have in his zone-blocking system. Erving's 7.48-second 3-cone drill at the 2015 NFL Scouting Combine showed even more potential at thriving in such a scheme, displaying great footwork and change-of-direction ability on the move.
Jeremiah also predicted the Falcons may use one of their late-round picks to add depth at tight end, potentially one of Irving's FSU teammates.
"I'm going to go (with Florida State tight end) Nick O'Leary, I think he'd be a great fit with Matt Ryan," Jeremiah said. "He catches everything. He's very instinctive, didn't run all that fast at the Combine, that doesn't bother me, fourth or fifth round value for him at the tight end position."
O'Leary, the grandson of golf legend Jack Nicklaus, spent four years at Florida State, improving each and every season on campus.
During the Seminoles' 2013 championship season, the 6-foot-3, 252-pound tight end played a vital role, recording 33 receptions, seven touchdowns and averaging 16.9 yards per reception. In his final season, O'Leary caught 48 passes and scored seven touchdowns.
NFL Media draft analyst Mike Mayock lists O'Leary as the fifth-best tight end in this year's draft. 1. Maxx Williams, Minnesota
2. Clive Walford, Miami (Fla.)
3. MyCole Pruitt, Southern Illinois
4. Blake Bell, Oklahoma
5. Nick O'Leary, Florida State