Name: Erik McCoy
Position: Center/Interior Offensive Line
School: Texas A&M
McCoy is powerful, athletic center prospect who plays with tenacity and intelligence. He is one of the top risers among offensive linemen since the pre-draft process began.
McCoy is squatty and powerful, but not short. His overall mass is ideal to play either center or guard and he has proven he can hold up against the stoutest of interior defenders. The only concern here is his short arms, which came in at 33 inches at the combine.
Strong through his base, McCoy is rarely blown off the ball. He carries a ton of functional power in his legs and he maintains his leverage advantage at all times. His leg drive is elite, thanks to his powerful base and ever-present motor. He has good upper body strength to manipulate his man when he gets locked in as well, but his lower body strength stands out above all else. It is especially apparent when he receives a hard-charging blitzer in pass protection, yet meets him head-on without giving an inch of ground.
While McCoy tested a bit below expectations in agility drills at the combine, his athleticism on-tape is a clear advantage. He is quick off the ball, firing low and hard in run blocking reps. His long speed is clear, given he recorded the best 40-time among linemen at the combine, but his loose hips and quickness to his points are as impressive. McCoy is fluid in his lateral movements, sliding quickly and effortlessly in pass protection, scooting around defenders to get to the second level and getting angles on his opponent on reach and zone blocks. A three-cone of 8.28 is frankly shocking, given how smooth and explosive a mover he is on the field.
Polished technique combines with exceptional strength and quickness to make McCoy an elite-caliber zone blocker. He is fast off the ball, smooth to get in his position and has the leg drive and core power to move his man at will. As long as he gets his hands in good position off the snap, McCoy wins the rep. Despite his low center-of-gravity and leg power, McCoy is more of a sustainer than a finisher. He does not dominate opponents into the defensive backfield, rather he gets to his assignment, locks in and carries out his job. Zone blocking does not really lend itself to a “mauling” style of blocking, and that was McCoy’s primary scheme at Texas A&M.
The only time McCoy can run into trouble is when longer defenders get into him first. When he gets controlled, he can get driven back a bit from time to time. However, his quick fire off the snap and quickness to his spots typically mitigate length issues.
McCoy’s pass blocking, like his run blocking, relies heavily on his combination of power and quickness in his base. Initially, he delivers a strong initial two-handed punch to throw his man off. This style of punching leaves him a bit vulnerable, as he does not exactly get extension on his reach. McCoy essentially allows his man to get into his body, but delivers a good blow to knock him back. If longer defenders get into McCoy first, they can drive him back or cast him aside. However, McCoy’s side-to-side quickness and anchor allow both for mirroring against longer, quicker rushers and recovery if he gets off track. If he locks inside his man, it is over. McCoy’s grip is too strong and his feet too quick. When left alone, McCoy keeps his head on a swivel looking for his next block. He is never content with being idle as a pass blocker.
McCoy can handle any manner of bull rush or downfield rush with his leverage advantage, receiving their punches without giving ground. But again, it will come down to how he effectively mitigates his length disadvantage. He will not get overpowered by bull rushes, but he could get out-leveraged if his man gets his hands in place first. McCoy resets well and his impeccable footwork will take him places, even in situations where he gets manipulated by longer rushers.
Size, versatility, system, all of it fits perfectly into what the Vikings could use in a line prospect. McCoy’s zone and misdirection-heavy experience in college would translate well to the Vikings’ system, which figures to incorporate both under Kevin Stefanski. That said, McCoy’s power and quickness would do well in any blocking system.
The Vikings have added some line pieces in free agency, so they are not starving for line depth the way they were a few weeks ago. That said, they are hardly set as far as starters go. McCoy started a ton of games at center for the Aggies, so that may be his best spot in the NFL. Pat Elfein played all along the line in college and could be a candidate to move to guard should the Vikings bring in McCoy. But even if they were to leave Elflein in the middle and add McCoy at guard, he shoud be able to flourish there. McCoy, a likely day two pick, figures to be a day one starter wherever he ends up.
–Sam Smith is the Managing Editor for Full Press Coverage Vikings and Deputy Editor for Full Press NFL. Like and Follow @samc_smith.
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