The Kansas City Chiefs traded for offensive lineman Cam Erving from the Browns last week and because it was the Browns letting a player some Chiefs fans naturally thought that Erving sucked. If you can’t make it in Cleveland, where can you make it?
Chiefs GM Brett Veach, however, saw something different. He saw a guy who played tackle in college come out as a first round pick and put him in a new position, guard. That was a tough because the Chiefs didn’t see him as a guard. Then they moved him to center where he did OK. Finally, the Chiefs saw some tape of Erving playing tackle.
I found Veach’s explanation of why they got Erving very interesting — it’s about his rookie contract and the belief in the Chiefs coaching staff to get the most out of him.
“It’s just really hard to find 6’5, 6’6 guys with speed and length,” Veach told reporters after roster cuts on Saturday. “We saw the tape and he needs to get better and I think Cam will tell you when he watches the tape it’s not something that he’s proud of, but the kid is a tough kid, he’s competitive, he’s going to fit right into this room and when you’re looking at this stage of the game to find guys that have multiple years left on their rookie deal, that are 6’5, 6’6, long arms, athletic, we believe in our staff and we believe in our coaching.
“I think we saw it last year with (Bryan) Witzmann and we think we can get this kid up and running again and we believe in the process. But again you get a guy that’s young with multiple years on a rookie deal that works in your favor, I think you have to explore that opportunity.”
Look a few years down the road. Tackles are hard to find and such they are paid well. I can imagine a scenario where Erving is coached up over the next couple of years, improves his game and either becomes a Chiefs starter or goes out and signs a contract with another team and the Chiefs recoup a compensatory pick. Sure it’s an optimistic view of this but the risk isn’t very high.