With the 48th pick in the 2019 NFL Draft, the Saints selected center Erik McCoy from Texas A&M. In a trade with the Dolphins, the Saints also received Pick 116 and sent Pick 62, 202 and a Round 2 selection in 2020 to Miami.
Started and was a team captain all 13 games, helping the Aggies gain 6,131 total yards … paved the way for the SEC’s leading rusher in Trayveon Williams … led the Texas A&M offense in gaining 500-or-more yards of total offense in five games … given the Offensive Unselfish Leader Award at the team’s annual banquet … named the SEC’s Offensive Lineman of the Week following Texas A&M’s victory over No. 8 LSU … named to the Rimington Trophy Watch List and the Allstate AFCA Good Words Team Watch List … given the Offensive Leadership Award, Offensive MVP Award, Junior Academic Award and Strength and Conditioning Offensive Aggie Award at the team’s annual banquet.
Started every game, lining up at center for 11 of 13 games and guard in the other two games … helped the Aggies average 406.8 yards per game with 155.6 rushing and 251.2 passing … assisted the offense in gaining 350 or more yards of total offense in eight games … helped the Aggies gain a season-high 382 yards on the ground in the opener at UCLA.
Started all 13 games at center for the Aggies … named to the Freshman All-SEC team … earned SEC Offensive Lineman of the Week honors after a standout performance in his first career start against UCLA … helped clear the way for a balanced Aggie offense that gained 467.0 yards per game, with 211.8 rushing and 250.0 passing yards per game … offense rushed for more than 200 yards in seven games and had 350-plus yards vs. Arkansas and Tennessee.
Coached by Todd Quick at Lufkin High School … as a senior, McCoy graded out at 95 percent with an impressive 27 pancakes and 34 knockdowns … first-team all-district pick and earned second-team all-state honors … also a first-team all-district pick as a junior.
McCoy was not highly recruited despite earning second-team all-state honors at Lufkin High School in Texas. Aggies coaches saw enough to give him a scholarship, however, and he worked himself into a three-year starter. He redshirted in 2015 before earning the starting center spot for all 13 contests in 2016. McCoy started all 13 games for A&M in 2017, as well, 11 at center and two at guard. He was a team captain in 2018, again starting all 13 games in the middle of the offensive line called the ‘Maroon Goons.’
Since Sean Payton arrived in 2006 the Saints have had success with players drafted in the second round.
Those players include:
Roman Harper, Tracy Porter, Michael Thomas, Vonn Bell, Marcus Williams.
Texas A&M might have missed out on the first round for a second straight year, but Friday’s rounds two and three saw two Aggies go off the board.
Aggie center Erik McCoy was selected with the 16th pick of the second round by the New Orleans Saints on Friday after the Saints traded with the Miami Dolphins for the pick, which was 48th overall. Shortly after, former Aggie tight end Jace Sternberger became a Green Bay Packer as the 11th pick of the third round (75th overall).
“Center, guard, he could be a starter at either spot moving forward into the NFL,” ESPN draft analyst Mel Kiper Jr. said on the network’s broadcast. “Love the way he plays the game. Love his improvement. I’m almost surprised he dropped down this far.”
Eleven offensive linemen were selected above McCoy in the first and second rounds. He was the third center selected behind North Carolina State’s Garrett Bradbury and Mississippi State’s Elgton Jenkins, both opponents of the Aggies last season.
McCoy is the third Aggie in the last three years to be taken in the second round following Justin Evans in 2017 and Christian Kirk in 2018. Aggie defensive end Myles Garrett was the program’s last first-rounder when he was selected No. 1 overall by the Cleveland Browns in 2017.
Four Aggies hold positions on the New Orleans coaching staff, including defensive coordinator Dennis Allen and assistant head coach and tight ends coach Dan Campbell. Aaron Glenn serves as secondary coach, while Michael Hodges is a defensive assistant.
McCoy said the Saints were one of the teams that met with him in College Station. Campbell also attended A&M’s pro day.
New Orleans gave Miami second-round picks in 2019 and 2020 to move up 14 spots for McCoy. The Saints also gave Miami a sixth-round pick for a fourth-round pick in the deal.
The 6-foot-4, 303-pound McCoy could fill the void left by the retirement of 2018 Pro Bowl center Max Unger but will compete for the starting job with recent free-agent signee Nick Easton from Minnesota.
McCoy said before the draft that he hoped he would be able to begin a new first-round streak for the Aggies.
“If I could sneak into the first round, that would be great,” McCoy said in the week leading up to the draft. “That’s everyone’s life-long dream is to be a first-round pick in the NFL draft. Obviously, yeah, that would be a big deal to me.”
In three years with the Aggies, McCoy started all 39 games. He was a team captain his junior season, which saw the Aggies gain 6,131 total yards of offense. At the team’s annual banquet, McCoy earned awards for offensive leadership and offensive MVP as well as academic honors.
According to Pro Football Focus, McCoy allowed just one sack in 1,528 career pass-blocking snaps during his three years at A&M.
When McCoy declared for the draft in January, foregoing his senior season, he said he received a fourth- to sixth-round grade. At A&M’s pro day in late March, McCoy said his stock rose to a first- to early third-round grade.
“I feel like they went back after I declared, looked at the film again and really saw what I was capable of,” he said.