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2019 NFL Draft Prospect Erik McCoy C Texas A&M

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Big. Tough, fast, strong and smart

NCAA Football: Belk Bowl-Wake Forest vs Texas A&M Jim Dedmon-USA TODAY Sports

Erik McCoy 6” 4” 303 lbs Center Texas A&M #64

Erik McCoy is a big kid with a big heart and comes from an athletic family. He grew up in a little town in rural Texas with his mother and paternal grandfather. Erik’s is related to Texas A&M RB and former NFL player Jovorskie Lane. His grandfather played football at a small college in Texas, but before that he was seriously injured as a small child and had to learn to walk and talk again. For him to heal enough to one day play football was astonishing.

Alton Dixon, who was a defensive back at A&M from 2005-08 ,knew Erik’s family and remembers Erik as a “big ole kid” when he was child. Dixon came back to coach football in Erik’s high school. By that time Erik was a giant offensive lineman. He was a great player, but that is not what Dixon came to admire. He said, “Erik is a very cerebral young man. He’s one of the smartest kids that I’ve ever been around, period. This dude could be an engineer. He could be the dude that cures cancer. The kid is freaky smart.”

Erik’s grandfather would take care of him while his mom worked. “Me and mother grew up kind of poor,” McCoy said. “He was always, always trying to give us money, give us things to eat. He didn’t want anything in return besides you to be there.”

McCoy redshirted his first season (2015) at A&M, and even though he was never going to play that year, his grandfather still came to every games to provide the same support he showed when McCoy was a child.

McCoy worked hard during 2015 and in the offseason. When 2016 rolled around he was named the starting center. He requested tickets for his family, including his grandfather so they could all watch his first game that Saturday.

The Monday before the game his grandfather was going to run out to do an errand, but he didn’t make it out of the house. He died of a pulmonary embolism; the funeral was scheduled for Saturday, the day of the game.

Texas A&M coach Kevin Sumlin knew of Erik and his grandfather’s very close relationship and feared for Erik driving back home for the funeral. So he hired a car service to take him home and bring him back Monday so he would be safe.

Erik’s mom knew that her father-in-law would never want Erik to miss his first game so she resheduled the funeral for Friday so the car service could take Erik back to school that night, and he could play the next day.

“I had to go from mourning to preparing myself -- mentally, physically and emotionally -- to playing a game,” Erik said. “It was a tough thing to do. I remember after the game. I broke down crying, just because I knew he was watching over me.” During the game Erik never looked up into the stands, something every player does in a sold out stadium against a ranked opponent on his first game. He couldn’t look because he knew the person he wanted to see would not be there.

McCoy started and played the entire game, a 31-24 upset win over #16 UCLA. Two days later he was named SEC Offensive Lineman of the Week.

From there Erik played for three years in College Station starting every game. He started 37 at center and 2 at guard during his sophomore season.

McCoy is a tough, powerful experienced center with an nasty disposition and a finisher’s mentality. He is a team captain who his coaches call a die hard worker. Here he is going to bury his opponent so the back can run right through the alley he created.

You can see the brute force and the nastiness I described. This was A&M’s first offensive play of this game. He plants the guy then falls on him. He is in for a long day.

He has quick feet for a big man, but he is going against a 6’3 350 lbs nose tackle. A&M runs right in to the blitz on this play as the QB failed to switch the play to the opposite side.

McCoy is able to snap the ball and quickly get to the right side of the nose tackle to keep the behemoth out of the hole. McCoy played against an elite level of competition in 2018 including Alabama and Clemson without allowing a pressure or sack.

Here he is against the same player but this time on a pass play. McCoy has a strong anchor with a powerful upper body and usually plays with good leverage.

McCoy has no idea where his QB is going to run to or whether he is going to run at all. He keeps his block until the defender peels off to chase the QB who is escaping the pocket even though he is getting excellent protection.

This next GIFshows his speed and quickness. At 6’ 4” and over 300 lbs he ran under 4.9/40 at the Combine. This is a second level block on an ILB who McCoy outweighs by 50 lbs.

McCoy takes a great angle to cut off then get on the correct side of the ILB to make the block. The ILB never gets within 5 yards of the play. This is some excellent mobility by a powerful man. He is out and into the block in less than 2 seconds.

Here again he is able to get off the snap quickly, get to his man on the right side to make the block, and force him to be a spectator on the play.

A&M ran a hybrid zone rushing attack, but McCoy can play in any scheme and may actually be better in a power/gap attack. In the three years that McCoy started at A&M the Aggies rushed for over 2,000 yards every year.

This next play is the second play of their bowl game against N.C. State who came into the game as the 9th best defensive team against the run in the country. You see McCoy stymies the slanted nose guard then attacked the left ILB. He pushes him back off the line by a good 3 yards.

The Aggies set a bowl and school record in this game with 401 yards rushing in a 52 -13 crushing on N.C. State and their vaunted rush defense. I like watching McCoy bend his knees and explode the block into the ILB using great leverage.

This is from the same game. This time we will watch some pass blocking. When you have a mobile QB you just try and keep your opponent directly in front of you so if the QB runs to a particular side you can adjust accordingly. Or he could just throw the ball directly to the opponent.

McCoy has great hand usage and very powerful hands in general. When he gets a hold of you, you are usually done. This is the same play from the end zone look.

You see the defender tries to move to the left and right but ends up going nowhere. You can also see the strong base and wide stance that McCoy employs. Nice work.

Finally you see in this bowl game a unique play that is a different design than you are used to watching. I have never really seen this until now.

The RT splits the defenders then tries a poorly executed cut block on the LILB. The RG pulls and leads the play through the hole, and they leave McCoy to make a cut off block on both the DT and DE. The most astonishing thing is he got both guys sealed off from the play and both become bystanders.

Erik McCoy is the type of player you draft, and you never have to worry about that position again for a decade. He has not missed a game since his freshman year and is the type of player the offensive line coach will love. He is a team first, smart, alert stronghold in the middle of the line who is competitive as they come. He is a plug and play center who needs but a few adjustments. He has a solid floor and a Pro Bowl ceiling in the right system. He can be a solid foundation of a new offensive line; the first piece of the puzzle.

I currently have a mid second round grade on McCoy he has almost everything you want in a center. In a perfect world you would want him to be a more fluid athlete and he has some minor technical flaws that NFL coaching should help. His college coach Jimbo Fisher for some reason never has the best offensive line coaches. There is a real possibility that McCoy develops quite a bit more if he has better coaching.

There is more than one center worth our attention in this Draft.

What do you think?