Tuesday was a great day for Erik McCoy.
The 6-foot-4, 303-pound center worked out at Texas A&M’s NFL Pro Day on the heels of being projected as a first-round pick on Mel Kiper Jr.’s NFL Mock Draft 3.0. The ESPN analyst has McCoy going to Baltimore with the 22nd pick.
“It’s cool, it’s cool,” McCoy said. “But I’ve said this before, and I’m not being mean about it, but I can go make a mock draft and make me the first pick, but we’ll see how it all plays out. Hopefully, it’s favorable.”
A month ago, Kiper had McCoy projected as a second- to third-round pick in his second mock draft, but McCoy performed well at the NFL combine in Indianapolis.
“McCoy ran the fastest 40-yard dash of any offensive lineman (4.89 seconds) in Indianapolis,” Kiper said. “And when you turn on the tape, you see a consistent player with great feet.”
Kiper said McCoy’s ability to play guard is a plus, but McCoy said teams have only talked with him about playing center.
“I feel like I put up great film at the Senior Bowl, [had] great numbers at the combine and performed really well today,” McCoy said.
At the combine, McCoy did 29 repetitions on the bench press to rank sixth among the offensive linemen and had a 31-inch vertical jump to rank seventh. McCoy, who declared early for the draft, received a second- to fourth-round grade from the NFL Draft Advisory Board.
“The feedback I’ve been getting recently is late first to early third,” McCoy said.
McCoy, tight end Jace Sternberger and running back Trayveon Williams, who along with linebacker Tyrel Dodson all declared early for the draft, did only position drills Tuesday. Sternberger and tight end Trevor Wood, along with fullback/linebacker/special teams player Cullen Gillaspia, did position drills Tuesday with former A&M tight end Dan Campbell, who is the New Orleans Saints’ assistant head coach and tight ends coach.
“The fact you’re able to get a workout with someone like that, someone that’s taking time out of his day to teach the youth, you’ve got to be appreciative of it,” Sternberger said. “It was awesome.”
Campbell, a third-round pick in the 1999 draft, was happy to work up a sweat.
“I’d take all three of them,” said Campbell, who also had dinner and watched film with the trio Monday night. “Absolutely, I thought they represented themselves well. All three are a little bit different. They’ve got their abilities. I think Jace is going to go pretty high. He did a good job; he’s a good athlete.”
A&M coach Jimbo Fisher said most players in the position of the Aggie underclassmen typically don’t return for their senior year.
“I think it’s important to go based off your potential and where you can go in the draft,” Fisher said. “I think that’s the thing you gotta [determine], if I max my value out in how high I’ll ever go. If you can do that, I think you should go. If you can’t, you’re probably leaving money on the table.”
NFL Comes To A&M Pro Day
NFL coaches, scouts and players came to the A&M indoor football practice facility to watch A&M football players get tested for basic strength and athletic skills during Pro Day Tuesday. Tests included standing vertical jump, standing long jump, 40-yard dash and others.
NOTES — McCoy has visited the Los Angeles Rams and Carolina Panthers. He’ll visit Baltimore, Washington and Arizona next week, along with the New York Jets coming to College Station. … McCoy said playing eventual national champ Clemson along with so many great tackles in the SEC helped when teams started looking at tape. … McCoy said Mississippi State’s Jeffery Simmons was the toughest defensive tackle he faced. … Sternberger has worked out for Arizona with workouts scheduled for Cincinnati, the Los Angeles Rams and several others. … Sternberger said his numbers weren’t impressive at the combine — 4.75 seconds in the 40-yard dash to rank 12th among tight ends — but the interviews have gone well. … Campbell said when it comes to facilities, A&M is at the top. “They’ve done a hell of a job here,” he said. … Campbell sees winning days ahead for A&M under Fisher. “Anybody and everybody who knows Jimbo or anything about him, only say things in high regard about him,” Campbell said. “Look, he’s a phenomenal coach. He’s a phenomenal man. I think the future is bright with this guy. Everywhere he’s been, he’s won. I just feel like with him at the helm, I think A&M’s going to take a turn here, and I think we’re going to be the team to beat in the SEC for a while coming. Now, it might take a little bit; he’s been here only a year, but man, I think they got the right guy here.” … Campbell cited tougher, disciplined mentality as a difference. … Williams said the top three teams talking to him are Philadelphia, Chicago and Houston. “I think today was just another glimpse of what I did at the combine, catching the ball and really exploding out of my catch and doing the little things, footwork and showing balance,” said Williams, adding that he’ll return kicks and handle special teams. … “Did you miss me?” Gillaspia asked the media. “I’ve had a really good workout, I ran real well. Oh, I’ve got special teams drills, I’ll be back.” Gillaspia continued the interview after finishing special teams drills. “Cullen is just so versatile,” Fisher said. “He can play linebacker. He’s a running back. He can catch the ball, play special teams, I say he’s a very unique talent. His ball skills allow him to do a lot of different things.”
The 50 NFL coaches, scouts and player personnel included Pittsburgh general manager Kevin Colbert and Baltimore offensive line coach Joe D’Alessandria, who was an assistant at A&M in 1994. San Antonio Commanders general manager and former Dallas Cowboys fullback Daryl Johnston also watched the workouts of Gillaspia, linebackers Otaro Alaka and Dodson, defensive backs DeShawn Capers-Smith and Donovan Wilson, defensive linemen Landis Durham, Kingsley Keke and Daylon Mack, offensive linemen Justin Dworaczyk, Keaton Sutherland and McCoy, running back Kwame Etwi, deep snapper Austin Frey, place-kicker Daniel LaCamera and tight ends Sternberger and Wood.
Wilson had a vertical jump of 39 inches, Capers-Smith 38.5, Etwi 37, Sutherland 36, Dodson and Durham 35. Capers-Smith broad jumped 10-3, Etwi 9-10 and Durham 9-9. Gillaspia ran the 40 in 4.63, Capers-Smith 4.63 and Etwi 4.67. Gillaspia ran the 5-10-5 shuttle in 4.15, Etwi in 4.28 and Wilson 4.29. Wilson ran the 3 cone in 6.94 and Gillaspia 6.97; Sutherland had 27 bench presses, Etwi 21, and Gillaspia and Keke 20 each.