Saints stud Erik McCoy dubbed top-ten second-year player

Erik McCoy #78 of the New Orleans Saints. (Photo by Jonathan Bachman/Getty Images)
Erik McCoy #78 of the New Orleans Saints. (Photo by Jonathan Bachman/Getty Images) /

The New Orleans Saints were without a first-round pick in 2019 but made the most of their draft by selecting stud lineman Erik McCoy.

Over the last half a decade, the New Orleans Saints have been absolutely dominant at finding elite talent in the draft. Just think about the 2017 draft in which they secured Ryan Ramczyk, Marshon Lattimore, and Alvin Kamara.

While they didn’t have the draft capital last season, they still brought in the talent. This time, it was in the former of second-round pick Eric McCoy. McCoy was originally from Texas A&M. The 6-foot-4 center played three years there.

A versatile lineman, McCoy came in and was the immediate starting center with Andrus Peat, Terron Armstead, Larry Warford, and Ramczyk starting alongside him.

Now, the Saints will return the same front except first-round pick Cesar Ruiz will be added instead of Warford, a guard the Saints cut in order to free up about $8 million.

That said, McCoy is one of the top second-year players in the league, coming in at No. 6 on 247Sports rankings of the ten best second-year studs. McCoy topped Raiders running back Josh Jacobs. Kyler Murray and Nick Bosa were No. 1 and No. 2 respectively.

“Selected by the New Orleans Saints from Texas A&M with the No. 48 overall pick in the second round of the 2019 NFL Draft, Erik McCoy started at center. Seen by Brooks as ‘a rock-solid blocker with the capacity to maul defenders in the running game and stonewall interior defenders in pass protection,’ McCoy impressed as a rookie by starting all 16 games. The Saints selected former Michigan center Cesar Ruiz with the No. 24 overall pick in the 2020 NFL Draft, though, so it remains to be seen if McCoy will move to guard or Ruiz slides instead,” 247Sports’ Garrett Stepien wrote.

In his rookie season, McCoy played and started in all 16 games. He played over 1,000 snaps and was involved in 99% of the team’s offensive plays. If that doesn’t show you the impact that McCoy made as a rookie, there may not be much that does.

McCoy had a total of eight penalties on him his entire rookie season. In a tough position on an experienced line, the rookie played like a veteran and that was one huge reason the Saints managed 13 wins.

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McCoy will play a crucial role in the Saints gameplan his second season, and he may even be asked to play guard instead of center, potentially showing his versatility in Year 2.