No. 48: Erik McCoy, OL, Texas A&M
Pete Prisco, CBS Sports: B+ | This was a smart pick because they had to replace Max Unger. Drew Brees has to be protected inside since he is a short quarterback, so it works.
Chad Reurter, NFL.com: B | McCoy was a first-round value that they picked in the middle of Round 2, and Drew Brees needed a sturdy and smart pivot. (NFL.com assigned day grades rather individual grades for each pick. The Saints received an B for Day 2.)
Andy Benoit, Sports Illustrated: A | Scouts believe McCoy can assume a starting job right away. He is a crafty technician who has the movement skills to execute man blocks and zone blocks.
Chris Sprow, ESPN: 87 | McCoy's strength? How about the fact that he had a blown pass block on a microscopic 0.4 percent of attempts last season. Some potential spackle in a leaky situation up front.
Mike Tanier, Bleacher Report: B+ | McCoy’s a find-a-way scrapper who Sean Payton and the Saints coaches will love. He has the traits to be a starter and tone-setter in the middle of the line.
WalterFootball.com: A+ | This is one of the best picks of the draft thus far. There was a team in the teens that was considering Erik McCoy, so to have him drop all the way to No. 48 is a major steal.
Steven Ruiz, For The Win: B+ | The Saints didn’t have a first-round pick but still ended up with a first-round talent. McCoy is a big center with good movement skills. He’ll be a key figure in the Saints’ screen game, which we know Sean Payton loves. He’ll occupy the void left by Max Unger’s retirement.
Nicklaus Gray, Nashville Tennessean: A | The Saints were stunned by the retirement of Max Unger, and McCoy remedies that. He could start for a decade in New Orleans as a superb anchor pass blocker.
Nate Davis, USA Today: D+ | New Orleans adds a physical pivot, the next interior guy charged with forming a halo around diminutive Drew Brees and keeping his pass lanes clear. (USA Today did not rank each individual draft pick, but gave the Saints an overall draft grade of a D+)
Pro Football Focus: Below Average | Slotted as PFF’s No. 80 overall player, McCoy is a bit of a reach at pick No. 48, but what he brings to the table is still valuable. His tape suggests a player though who’s one of the most complete interior linemen in this class. (Pro Football Focus assigned an overall grade to each team rather than grading each individual pick.)
John Sigler, Saintswire: A | McCoy is an instant-impact player who should be the Week 1 starter, helping the Saints into a seamless transition from Max Unger. McCoy may even be an improvement; he doesn’t have the collection of lower-body injuries that forced Unger into an early retirement limited his play, and could introduce some new schematic wrinkles with his athleticism. There will be some growing pains as with any rookie thrown into the starting lineup, but the vision for how McCoy fits the offense and what he can do is excellent.