The New York Giants are faced with a number potentially tough decisions in 2019. Among them is whether or not they want to continue with the experiment of transitioning Jon Halapio to center. Halapio’s is a great story and it’s obvious the coaching staff loves him, but his play on the field left much to be desired.
If the Giants decide to move in another direction, or decide to bring in competition for Halapio, it would behoove them to find an experienced center with as short a learning curve as possible. In that case, the 2019 NFL Draft has a number of intriguing options along the interior of the offensive line, with several promising prospects at guard as well as center.
There are enough talented interior linemen that there are impressive prospects who are barely being talked about at the national level, prospects like Texas A&M center Erik McCoy.
- Good size and build for the position.
- Flashes quickness out of his stance.
- Surprising speed in the open field to block for screen plays.
- Gets to the second level well on inside zone plays.
- Generates good torque to throw defenders.
- Generally takes advantage of his low center of gravity.
- Intense, high motor player. Always looking for someone to block.
- Experienced player. 36 consecutive starts at center (38 consecutive starts at TAMU)
- Occasionally over-extends and lunges at defenders.
- Needs to work on his strike points.
- Occasionally dips his head into contact.
- Pad level can rise over long reps.
- Arm length could be a concern for some teams
What They’re Saying
“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.”
- Jon Ledyard (The Draft Network - Scouting Report)
Does He Fit The Giants?
In theory, McCoy would likely be a good fit for the Giant’s offensive scheme. He is a versatile center who has the athleticism to excel in a zone blocking scheme while also having the functional strength to play in a man-gap scheme -- even more-so due to the athletic requirements when gap runs ask the center to pull.
McCoy is solid in pass protection, standing up well to power rushers while also having the foot speed and quickness to match up on more athletic speed rushers or blitzers.
McCoy’s experience at center, starting 36 consecutive games, would also be good for a team looking to improve their line as quickly as possible. He has seen a lot playing in the SEC, and should be well-equipped to take over the duties of calling protections and communicating with his linemates.
He does have some things he needs to work on -- McCoy’s hand usage can get sloppy at times, losing inside leverage or failing to deliver a solid strike to defender’s chest plates. Likewise, he very occasionally lets his head dip into contact, over-extends and winds up on the ground, or sees his hips and pad level rise over the course of long reps. None of these are at all disqualifying, and should be fixable with some coaching and further conditioning.
The bigger question might be whether or not the Giants see Jon Halapio as their starting center. If not, McCoy, or a player like him, could be in play.