Sunday, 14 March 2010

Gerald McCoy, DT, OU: Scouting Report

By Kyle Rota

Name: Gerald McCoy
School: Oklahoma
Position: Defensive Tackle
Height: 6041 V
Weight: 295 V
40: 4.96 V

The Big Three:

Athleticism: McCoy is an exceptional athlete for a defensive tackle. He had enough athleticism to have played a very good DE (4-3 or 3-4) in college even at his current weight, and if he shed some weight I have no doubt he could play 4-3 DE in the NFL. That said, his athleticism is special for a DT so in no way am I advocating a move to DE. He has pretty good pursuit speed, excellent short area quickness, and he’s comfortable in space when stunting or turning the corner. 7.0

Play Vs Run: McCoy is very disruptive against the run, but this is not necessarily the same as being productive. McCoy almost always gets a great jump off the line of scrimmage, and he often is in the backfield before the running back has the ball. Unfortunately, he does not always break down and actually make the tackle, but he does slow the runner. He plays very well on runs away from him, chasing down the ball carrier more than most DTs. His biggest area of improvement is runs right at him, as he can be pushed back consistently by two and is too aggressive against one. 6.5

Play Vs Pass:
McCoy has a ton of potential as a pass rusher, but again I’m not sure it will translate into numbers. McCoy is quick off the snap and has great hands usage – that is a scary combination for most guards, and so McCoy gets a steady stream of double teams in most passing situations, which he still often beats to at least apply pressure. When left alone, he will cause havoc but does not always make the tackle, as he redirects pretty slowly. 6.5

The Rest:

Play Strength: He has adequate upper-body strength, which helps him win the hands game, but he doesn’t have the lower body strength to really anchor at the POA. If he can improve his lower-body strength, it would go a long ways. 6.0

Pursuit: McCoy gives great pursuit against the run and the pass. While not a threat to chase runners 30 yards, McCoy is a great athlete (for a 300lb man) and makes a lot of tackles chasing down running backs from behind. His strong motor plays a big role here, McCoy plays almost all the defensive snaps and rarely takes a breather, too. 6.5

He will fight to keep hands off him (great hand quicks) and uses several pass-rush moves effectively, including a very quick spin move (not common in collegiate DTs). 7.0

Quickness Off Snap:
Probably McCoy’s best attribute. McCoy is exceptionally quick off the snap, and what makes it so special is that McCoy is consistently getting great jumps. 7.5

Tackling: McCoy does not break down well in space, but when he reaches his target he does a good job of taking him down. 6.0

McCoy is capable of throwing his weight around when he has a clear lane to his target, but most of the time McCoy is not dishing out devastating hits. 6.0

Run POA: This is an area where I’d like to see improvement from McCoy. Unless he makes the tackle with his burst, he is likely to be taken out of the play, whether he overruns it or he is just blocked away. With his technique and natural gifts, he should be at least adequate here. Did give a good showing in goal-line situations, suggesting he has the capability. 6.0

Run/Pass Recognition: It’s a little hard to tell, because McCoy seemed more focused on a gap than discipline against the run, but I don’t think McCoy had a difficulty recognizing the play, as he generally seemed to locate the ball well, though he occasionally bit completely. 6.5

Consistency/Motor: McCoy’s game-to-game consistency seemed similar in all four games I scouted. He also plays most snaps at a high effort, occasionally he does get too high as the play wears on though and that hurts him. However, I feel it is negated by his motor pass rushing and in pursuit. 6.5

This is one area that is confusing. Conventionally, a quick burst off the snap like what McCoy has would indicate great instincts, and McCoy’s good hands use shows that he is a student of the game. But you see McCoy play too aggressively at times, missing tackles or biting hard on misdirection. 6.0

Leverage: McCoy generally plays at a good pad level, but occasionally he will get too high in his pads, especially as a play wears on. 6.0

Errors/Flags: McCoy was remarkably un-flagged, doesn’t make a ton of errors (though not perfect here). 6.5

Summary: McCoy is both interesting and frustrating. His combination of size, athleticism, and technique is really appealing. He even has the good head and character teams value. However, I don’t feel he will ever have the statistical dominance most expect from a top tackle. I believe he will get some numbers, don’t get me wrong, but I’d expect his numbers to more Tommie Harris than Kevin Williams. Harris is a great tackle who makes his teammates better by constantly making the ball-carrier adjust, and that’s what McCoy will be. If you surround him with talented teammates, McCoy could bring out the best in them, but he probably shouldn’t be the only talented member of the line if you want to harass quarterbacks.

Weighted Grade: 6.47
Actual Grade: 6.8 (I'm not sure why these are so different, but I feel McCoy is an excellent talent deserving of a top-5 pick.)


micah said...

it would be amazing if we could get this guy.

micah said...

do you guys have a big board of top players? It would be interesting to see how you guys are similar or different in your opinions. Maybe just a top 10 or 20. I also really liked how espn put McShay and Kiper's top 10 mock drafts side by side.


Mccoy is legit Bar-None! Guarantee he will cause havoc at the front-line. The kid is the sleeper in the draft regardless..believe the hype! A chip on his shoulder something to prove!!

Kyle Rota said...

Micah - I agree and yes I do personally have a board. It's not big enough (and I actually have obligations outside scouting, so nowhere near enough time) to have every player ranked, but I have a list of "target" guys with each of our selections, or at least I will by the draft (still filling in and changing things). I'll take a picture near the draft when it is "complete".

Kip Earlywine said...

This scouting report was pretty much on the money with my impression of McCoy as well. Very disruptive but can overplay the run and had surprising trouble with double teams (at least compared to Suh). More of a pressure guy than a sacks guy.

As far as Williams and Harris, Harris hasn't really been the same since he lost Tank- whereas Williams has had the other Williams, not to mention Jared Allen, at his back. If Mebane moves back to the 1, Tapp breaks out, and Jackson continues to slowly improve, I think Tommie Harris is probably a pessimistic projection sacks-wise, but I do agree that he shouldn't go to a team where he's the only talent on the D-line.

Anonymous said...

Can he play the 5 technique or is he too weak at the PoA? He could very well be the BPA when the Redskins pick at 4 and they're transitioning to the 3-4 defense. They probably need another starting 5 technique if you assume Albert Haynesworth is one of the starters, particularly a guy like McCoy since his snaps are so high.

Jony-b said...

I want to know some opinions on Brian Price vs Mccoy. I see that the stats are actually better for Price, but probably this excludes a lot of pressure. I also think that either of these guys would improve our entire D-line and would be better pick up than a DE because we already have 3 good DEs but nobody to free them up besides mebane.
I think big time DT is more important for our team than DE.

Kip Earlywine said...

Price and McCoy are both very quick off the snap, but otherwise, they are pretty different. Price is kind of a mini-Suh in that he relies almost entirely on his strength to create pressure, whereas McCoy penetrates through hand use and pass rush moves. Most draft experts say that McCoy is a pure 4-3 3 tech, and not a 3-4 fit.

Yeshhh said...

What's interesting is Mccoy's fate lies in the hand of Detroit since St Louis and Bradford are locked. And with Detroit's recent transactions they could go a different way (probably Okung) And if that happens Tampa would clearly pick up Suh, Washington (who deploy a 3-4 and already have Haynesworth) would look somewhere else and then Kansas City already used last years pick with Tyson Jackson, but that doesn't mean they wouldn't go for Mccoy, in fact they might want this scenario more than anyone else. What I'm interested in is if Mccoy and Clausen are both there at 6 which would we take? I would pick up Mccoy but thats just me

Kyle Rota said...

Hey guys, thanks for the comments and sorry for the lack of responses, life is getting busy for the next few days.

I think McCoy *could* play in a 3-4 *if* the scheme was right. Not all 3-4s are the same, in the same way that not all 4-3 defenses are alike (Indy vs Philly, as an example). Some 3-4s (San Deigo comes to mind) give their DEs more freedom to pursue the QB and rely less on the LBs to do so. Others, like Baltimore's, tend to leave the pass-rush to the LBs. I wouldn't advise drafting McCoy for either, but in the "SD style" 3-4 he at least has a chance of success. I don't think he would, for, say, Baltimore.

*Note: McCoy can line up as a five-technique at certain times. He did so a fair bit for Oklahoma. I just don't think he's particularly well suited to doing so on a full-time basis. Even if he could, you'd still be limited his opportunities to enter the backfield, which is what he does best.

To me, Price is not nearly as good a prospect as McCoy for a few reasons. Price may have more lower-body strength (but he has a fairly narrow upper-body build for a DT), but it's not a lot stronger and I do think McCoy could add some lower body strength. That said, even by experts "body growth" estimates are pretty much wild shots in the dark, and I'm no expert.

More importantly, I love the versatility in McCoy. You can stunt him, play him as a strongside end, even drop him into coverage. Price doesn't have that, and that hurts. While Price is more instinctive locating the ball, McCoy is just more comfortable in space than Price, and I think McCoy could develop those instincts.

MOST importantly, I can't trust Price to be on the field. I've done 4 games on Price (same with McCoy) but in 3 of those games I've watched Price leave the field with an injury. That's the reason I haven't put up a report on Price, even though I finished scouting him weeks ago... I've never run into a player who has gotten hurt 4 times (2x in one game) in 4 games before. That's a record, and not a good one. All these injuries were minor and he returned each time, but I'm still not sure what to make of that. It scares me, but that's all I really know.

IMO, I'd take McCoy over Price. I've been shouting for a QB for so long even I am tired of myself, and it'd be a shame to pass up on Clausen, but I think McCoy is too good of a talent to pass up.

akki said...

Sounds like Russell Maryland. He was criticized for being good but not worth such a high pick, yet he was a foundation piece of some really good Dallas defenses.

Jony-b said...

I was not meaning Mccoy being a DE, but I have heard so many people saying that we need a DE. I think the more important position on the line for us is DT as a person like Mccoy would free up the DE. I also think that Price would free up the DEs. I guess my question was more one of whether Price would be good enough to do this.
My DT vs DE statement was more directed toward needs and what I thought.

Jony-b said...

Also I would have never mentioned Price for discussion, even for number 14, more along the lines of 40 for the hawks. What are your thoughts if Mccoy is gone at six. Would Price be a good fit besides injury at 14.
Say Clausen and Mccoy are gone at 6, would you trade back since there is a list of about 10 players that are good and would fill a need. Even if we loose some value on the PVC I like picking up a second rounder. Unless of course we actually like Okung, or if one of the above players are listed is there.
I think we need Offensive players with 2 if not three of the first 3 picks this year. The only positions on D that I want the hawks to take with those first three is either Safety or DT because as I said before. I think for the hawks the DT is a greater need than DE. This is why I am interested in Price, but at #40.

Mind of no mind said...

I can't help but think what our line might be like in 2 years if McCoy somehow fell to us at #6 and we got Derrik Morgan at #14. It would completely ignore our offense, but if we land this new QB from San Diego and were able to get Marshall from the Broncos without spending a 1st, we'd be adding two impact players to each side of the ball. Next year might be kind of a throw away year, since DE, DT and 1st year starters @ QB usually need a season or two to adjust, but once they've had that time, we could suddenly be very good at key positions on both sides of the ball for awhile.

Kyle Rota said...

Jony-b - My DE comment was for Anonymous inquiring about McCoy as a 3-4 end, sorry if that wasn't clear.

As for Price... I probably wouldn't take him at 14 even without the injury concerns. I probably would at 40. I don't think he's quite athletic enough to get by on just that in the NFL, but his technique is really poor/nonexistent right now... and I don't think he'll work until he fixes that. Maybe it's coaching, he seems like a bright guy who would work hard, but I'm trying to avoid character-analysis as I learned last year that I can't give a truly informed opinion without actually visiting the school and talking to the staff about Price.

Unless someone like Suh or McCoy falls to us, I'm willing to trade back. That said, I wouldn't want to trade back too far - 11 is probably as far back as I would go. I think at 11 we could still get Morgan (who I love), Haden, Berry, or Clausen (I've heard it, on good authority, that Seattle is higher on Clausen than most teams... meaning if we don't take him, he could fall). More importantly, though, who will want to trade up? And for who?

I would prefer we address offense, for a couple of reasons. I think we're much closer to a competitive defensive unit than our stats show. But we're pretty much old, injury prone, or bad at just about every offensive position. Offense also tends to be more steady - build a great offense and you'll have a quality offense for years, barring a QB injury. Defense, though, tends to be great one year, poor another, great the next, etc. Give me consistency, and thus offense. It doesn't hurt that the only guy on the roster capable of playing passable LT is Sean Locklear... and you can tell my standards are pretty low for "passable" if I am including Lock.

MoNM: I agree that those two would make for a scary defensive front when paired with Mebane and Tapp. I'll be devastated if we don't get a QB, WR, OR LT in the first round, though. Still, I've resigned myself to the fact that we can't address every need on this team, so as long as those 2 picks go to 2 guys who figure to represent big upgrades, I'll be happy.