Gerald McCoy, 2010 NFL Draft
6’4” 297 lbs.
Strengths: Height, athleticism, explosiveness, balance, and speed.
Weaknesses: Bulk and strength.
By Scot Acocks
Gerald McCoy has announced that he will come out and declare himself eligible for the 2010 NFL Draft, just as many thought that he would. He is widely considered one of the best defensive tackle prospects in this year’s crop as well as one of the top overall. If it weren’t for Ndamukong Suh being the beast that he is McCoy would be the most coveted defensive lineman in college football.
In high school McCoy was the National Defensive Player of the Year by USA Today and the Oklahoma Gatorade Player of the Year. As a senior he collected 82 tackles, 20 sacks and recovered nine fumbles. Needless to say, he was one of the most coveted defensive line prospects coming out of high school.
After redshirting his first year for the Sooners, McCoy came out and won the Big-12 Defensive Freshman of the Year Honors in 2007. While starting 13 games he recorded 19 tackles, two sacks, six quarterback hurries, and one forced fumble.
As a sophomore in 2008, McCoy broke out and really caught the attention of NFL scouts. He started all 14 games, in which the Sooners went 12-2, and recorded 30 tackles, 6.5 sacks, two passes defended, and one interception. He was awarded as a First Team All-American by the Sporting News and was an Associated Press Second Team All-American.
In 2009 McCoy couldn’t match his 2008 numbers as he was often the focus of opponent’s blocking schemes and faced numerous double teams. He still managed to muster up 31 tackles, 5 sacks, nine quarterback hurries, two passes defended, and one forced fumble. On average, McCoy was also able to record 1.2 tackles for a loss per game.
McCoy is a good pass rusher and can get to an opposing quarterback with a variety of moves. He penetrates blocking schemes consistently and disrupts plays. He rarely ever gets pancaked by offensive lineman and stays on his feet by keeping them moving. His long arms and height also allow him to bat down a lot of balls at the line of scrimmage.
In the NFL McCoy will need to add some bulk and get stronger to hold up against bigger, stronger linemen and brutal running games. If he can’t hold his ground teams will focus on him and continuously pound him into the ground. He will also need to work on his technique in order to keep his pads low and use more leverage against blockers. However, that will also come with added strength and can be further overcome with the use of his long arms and quickness to keep opponents away from his feet.
What will make him a very high draft pick in the 2010 NFL Draft is his versatility, he could play a defensive tackle in a 4-3 defense or an end in a 3-4 defense.
Liked by his coaches and teammates, McCoy has been considered a leader on the Sooner’s team on the field and in the locker room. He is known as a hard worker, often leading running drills in practice. He has high hopes to use his popularity and financial success to assist those who are less fortunate than him, including building a shelter for the homeless.
At this point McCoy will be a top 10 pick and, with a strong showing at the combine, should find himself among the top 5. He will likely run a forty in the 5.0 range and put up at least 25 reps. If he can run in the 4.9 range and put up over 30 reps, while looking smooth in running drills, his stock will soar even further.
Career Stats at Oklahoma:
- 39 Starts
- 80 Tackles
- 37 Tackles for a Loss (135 Loss Yards)
- 13.5 Sacks
- 17 Quarterback Hurries
- Four Passes Defended
- Two Forced Fumbles