NAME: Erik McCoy
SCHOOL: Texas A&M
POSITION: Interior Offensive Lineman
CLASS: RS Junior
JERSEY: No. 64
RECRUITMENT RATING: 3-star
HT: 6’3 3/4
WT: 310 lbs
Pass Protection – Anchor to keep power rushers at bay and the quick feet to mirror rushers who attempt to work to his edge. No “type” really had success against him, but long-levered defenders can get into his chest-plate at times. Good success rate in the games I watched and was rarely beaten early by a pass rusher. Has shown the ability to recover even if he is initially wrenched off-balance.
POA Run Blocking – Zone schemes at Texas A&M fit him perfectly, but no reason to believe he can’t be a starter in a gap/power-based scheme as well. Explosive off of the snap with clean footwork to reach defenders in the A-gap. Hand placement is outstanding to hook defenders and slow their lateral progress. Works his hips around to scoop and seal off rush lanes. Gets into his opponent’s frame with intent, flashes vice grip ability to control the line of scrimmage. Issues arise when defenders get into his pads first (Auburn game) and he gives ground at the POA. Wouldn’t describe him as a people-mover, although there are flashes of that. Not a mauler.
Functional Strength – Powerful, squatty frame. Drives his legs through contact and won’t fall off blocks easily if he wins first contact. Has good core strength not to get push-pulled, but will get walked back at times by speed-to-power.
Pass Pro Footwork – Builds his house quickly and is explosive off the snap and into his set. Head-up techniques occasionally disrupted his timing and forced him to hold on for dear life. Smooth footwork on slide protections and to mirror rushers that work to his edge. Has some balance and recovery reps with quick feet and athleticism that are eye-popping on tape.
Strike Timing/Placement – Definitely an area of his game that can improve a little. Has good technique and hand usage in the run game, can excel with more consistency in his placement and a little more torque. Not long, so has to make his first punch count to get defender’s off-balance and unable to re-set their hands and out-reach him. In pass protection, would love to see him vary his strikes a little bit and incorporate more one-handed blows to guys on his edge. Snatch-and-trap should be his best friend against long-levered defenders. Needs to have more counters with his hands for when length is hurting him.
Leverage – Low natural center of gravity and really only has leverage issues when he gets to the second level at times. Mostly the low man in 1v1 exchanges, but had some issues when defensive linemen just tried to blow him up off the ball. Needs to adjust his hands and dump them to the backside when that hands, rather than giving ground.
Space Blocking – Excellent blocker in space, works off of combo blocks with good timing and angles to the second level. Squares up target and arrives under control. Body positioning to seal off rush lanes shows impressive attention to detail. Can arrive a little high in his pad level and needs to make sure he keeps his hands inside against linebackers. Ability to get out in space in the screen game is outstanding, movement skills are great, as is ability to hit targets on the move.
Competitive Toughness – Elite marks in this area. Outstanding effort and intensity on a play-to-play basis, competes at a high level and puts the time in off the field as well. Described as a hard worker who is very coachable. Captain this past season. Faced elite level competition all season long and was consistently outstanding.
Mental Processing – Didn’t see twists coming a couple of times and got knocked out of his stance. Terrific vision to see late pressure and stones blitzing linebackers with good technique. Consistently looks for work quickly when uncovered. Identifies second level targets and reacts to their post-snap movements with ease. Football intelligence is billed as a strength.
Athleticism/Size – Height and weight are ideal for the position, but sub 33-inch arms will concern some teams. It does show up on tape as a concern for him as well. Really quick athlete with ideal fluidity in space but also the suddenness to erupt off the snap.
BEST TRAIT – POA/Space Run Blocking
WORST TRAIT – Pass Pro Hand Usage
RED FLAGS – None
After 38 straight starts, 36 of which have come at center, McCoy decided he had put enough on tape to make a leap to the NFL, and it is tough to disagree with him. He hasn’t missed a game for Texas A&M since his redshirt season ended, and the experience and savvy show in his technique and footwork. McCoy was lights out against Clemson and impressive against Alabama, showing the ability to match quickness in pass protection and make outstanding plays in space as well.
Despite his strengths, McCoy’s lack of length and elite hand work in pass protection are obstacles he’ll need to overcome. He gets out-reached by long-levered defenders too often, and has to do a better job of breaking hands and using some long-arm principles intermittently. Given his work ethic and age (still just 21), I believe these advanced techniques will come along for the redshirt junior in time. I love McCoy’s game and think he’ll excel in a zone scheme with the skill set to be diverse and start for a long time at the NFL level, either at center or at guard.