2015 NFL DRAFT
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Gerald McCoy

Height: 6-4 | Weight: 295 | College: Oklahoma
 
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Overview

McCoy's style of play is very similar to Oakland's Richard Seymour and Minnesota's Kevin Williams. He is an athlete who works well within the system, whether asked to bull rush the inside gaps or executing quick, efficient spin moves to come off the edge and impact the pocket by generating explosive pursuit angles. His lateral agility allowed the Sooners' coaching staff to line him up in a variety of positions on the front wall, and much like Seymour and Williams, he knows his goal -- seek and close on the quarterback in an instant.

With his long arms, body control and balance, McCoy is very effective at avoiding the cut block, as few defensive linemen keep their feet working through trash like this junior. With a strong hand punch, he can easily split double-team blocking or push an isolated blocker back into the pocket.

While McCoy might not have the statistical "lights-out numbers" of fellow Big Twelve Conference defensive tackle Ndamukong Suh of Nebraska, he is much more patient and rarely gets out of control or loses position. His ability to plug the rush lanes and string plays out contributed to McCoy putting up impressive "hidden" statistics in 2009.

Suh was a one-man gang penetrating the backfield, but McCoy is the type that knows he has to be able to make plays on the move. He is not the type to get into "rock 'em, sock 'em" battles with blockers, but he is more than able to neutralize the ground game.

McCoy's success in shutting down the opposing ground game was never more evident than in 2009. The previous year, Oklahoma allowed 367.71 yards per game, ranking 68th in the nation in total defense. With McCoy taking on a very important leadership role on a team missing several offensive stars, the defense needed to step up. Following the lead of their right defensive tackle, Oklahoma ranked eighth nationally in total defense (272.62 yards per game) and seventh in scoring defense (14.54 points per game) during the 2009 season.

McCoy was dominant as a run stuffer, as the Sooners limited their opponents to an average of 92.92 yards per game on the ground, ranking seconds in the Big Twelve Conference and eighth in the Division I ranks. The junior defensive tackle recorded just 34 tackles in 2009, but on 20 of those plays, the runner was either tackled for a loss or brought down at the line of scrimmage for no gain. All told, the opposition was held to minus-17 yards on running plays directed at McCoy's area.

While those are qualities teams look for in an interior lineman, McCoy is no slouch in wreaking havoc in the backfield. Six of his 12 quarterback pressures either killed scoring drives or resulted in turnovers. He also captured a few frightened passers while shooting the gaps, recording six sacks for losses of 47 yards.

At Southeast High School, McCoy was named National Defensive Player of the Year by USA Today. The 2005 Oklahoma Gatorade Player of the Year was named to the Oklahoma Coaches Association All-State team and chosen All-City Athletic Conference Player of the Year.

The Super Prep All-American was rated the best player in the Midlands region by that recruiting service and ranked second on their Elite 50 squad, along with being the top-rated defensive lineman in the nation. Super Prep also selected him the Midlands Defensive Player of the Year during his final season. College Football News regarded McCoy as the nation's best defensive tackle and ranked him 10th overall, nationally.

Prep Star rated McCoy the second-best defensive lineman in the nation, as he was also a member of their Dream Team Top 100 squad. Scout.com and ESPN rated him the second-best prep defensive tackle in the country. He was ranked 21st overall on the 2005 ESPN150 team. Rivals.com rated McCoy the best defensive tackle in the nation and the top prospect in the state of Oklahoma.

McCoy logged 82 tackles, 20 sacks and recovered nine fumbles as a senior. He added All-Area, All-State and All-Metro honors as a junior. He finished that season with 83 tackles, including 23 stops for loss, and 20 sacks, adding one interception (returned 48 yards for a touchdown) and two fumble recoveries. At the conclusion of his prep career, he competed in the U.S. Army High School All-American game.

Despite almost every major college pursuing him, McCoy decided to stay close to home and enrolled at Oklahoma in 2005. He spent that season redshirting on the scout team, but his talent was obvious. He dominated in 2006 spring drills and forced the staff to scrap their plans to bring him along slowly, handing him the right defensive tackle job. He would not relinquish that assignment throughout his 40-game career.

McCoy was a consensus Freshman All-American and named the Big Twelve Conference Freshman of the Year in 2006. He collected only 19 tackles that season, but posted 6.5 stops for loss with two sacks. Four of his six pressures caused interceptions and ten of his hits came on third-down plays.

As a sophomore, The Sporting News recognized McCoy as a first-team All-American and the Dallas Morning News named him the Big Twelve Conference Defensive Player of the Year. He delivered 30 tackles in fourteen games, that included 6.5 sacks, 11 stops behind the line of scrimmage and three caused interceptions on QB pressures, picking off one ball himself while knocking down to third-down pass attempts.

The 2009 consensus All-American first-team choice was a Lombardi Award finalist as a junior. He collected a career-best 34 tackles, finishing second on the team with 6.5 sacks among his 15.5 tackles behind the line of scrimmage, adding 12 pressures from his right defensive tackle position.

After first contemplating leaving school for the National Football League after the 2008 season, this time McCoy was not hesitant with his decision. In mid-December, he announced that he would not be returning to Oklahoma in 2010.

Analysis

Pass rush: Constantly moving toward the quarterback no matter where he lines up. When playing inside, uses a quick first step, violent hands and a surprisingly quick spin move to defeat man-up blocking. Could be more consistent changing up his pass rush moves. Keeps his eyes on the quarterback, and will put his hand up to affect the passing lane or knock down throws. Fluid turning the corner at 3-4 end, but not quite quick enough to beat NFL tackles off the line. Makes the quarterback step up into the pocket with a strong punch and spin move. Stands up his man if unable to win the initial battle, and disengages to crash down if the quarterback hangs on too long.

Run defense: Explosive tackler with the agility to bring down backs before they get started. Stacks and sheds, especially when playing outside. Able to beat the cut block and quickly recover to get back into the play. Good hustle, usually getting down the line or 10-15 yards downfield to chase the ball. Keeps his shoulders square when engaged down the line. Agile to run through or jump over trash. When slanting against the run, gets skinny to exploit a gap. Plays a bit high, and can get blown off the line when inside against a good power drive blocker.

Explosion: Quick and powerful off the snap, especially when he stays low to maintain leverage. Can pop his man's jersey and punch to keep a tackle off-balance. When lined up on the edge, tight ends can't handle his power one-on-one.

Strength: Keeps his hands active pushing into his man's chest or shoulders to pressure the pocket. Not as strong anchoring against double-teams as you'd like for an elite defensive tackle prospect. Able to control the tackle when at defensive end and use those strong hands to disengage to make the play. Will lose leverage as his pads can get too high after the snap.

Tackling: Strong upper-body build and long arms make him a secure tackler inside, even when not coming straight-on toward his target. Able to change direction to drag down running backs or quarterbacks after breaking through the line. Accelerates into a ballcarrier and close quickly on quarterbacks. Hustles to be the second or third man in the pile.

Intangibles: Team captain starting as a sophomore. Rarely takes a play off and hustles through the whistle. High character player who gives speeches to schools and other organizations throughout the Norman area community. Scheduled to graduate in the spring with a Human Relations degree.

NFL Comparison: Kevin Williams, Vikings

Career Notes

McCoy started all 40 games during his Oklahoma career playing the three-technique right defensive tackle position. His 40 consecutive starts are a school record for defensive linemen … Facing constant double-team blocking he still managed to record 83 tackles (51 solos), including 14.5 sacks for minus-97 yards, 33.0 stops for losses totaling 141 yards and 21 quarterback pressures … He caused and recovered two fumbles, returned an interception 12 yards and deflected four passes … His four tackles behind the line of scrimmage vs. Brigham Young in 2009 rank seventh on the school game-record list and were the most by a Sooner since linebacker Teddy Lehman had five stops for loss vs. Kansas State in 2003.

2009 Season

McCoy earned All-American first-team honors from the Football Writers Association, Walter Camp and The Sporting News … The Lombardi Award finalist was a consensus All-Big Twelve Conference first-team choice … Finished third in the balloting for Big Defensive Player of the Year and Defensive Lineman of the Year honors (league's coaches) … Started all 13 games, recording just 34 tackles (25 solos), but 45.59% of them resulted in lost yardage for the opposition, as his 15.5 stops for losses of 72 yards ranked seventh in the conference … That included six sacks for minus-47 yards, adding 12 quarterback pressures … Recovered and caused a fumble, as he also deflected a pair of passes … Made 35 plays vs. the running game, holding those ballcarriers to minus-17 yards and just two first downs, bringing down four runners for no gain at the line of scrimmage, in addition to his 15.5 stops in the backfield … Registered five of those hits on third-down plays.

2008 Season

All-American first-team selection by The Sporting News, adding second-team honors from the Associated Press … The consensus All-Big Twelve Conference first-team choice was named the Big Twelve's Defensive Player of the Year by the Dallas Morning News … The sophomore started all 14 games at right defensive tackle, recording 30 tackles (16 solo) with 6.5 sacks for minus-35 yards and 11 stops for losses of 43 yards … All three of his QB pressures caused interceptions, including one that he picked off himself for a 12-yard return … Also deflected two other throws … Played a key role as the Sooners ranked fourth in the nation in sacks generated (3.0 per game) and placed tenth in tackles for loss (led the conference with 7.57 per game).

2007 Season

McCoy was named the Big Twelve Conference's Defensive Freshman of the Year, adding Freshman All-American honors from Rivals.com, The Sporting News and College Football News … Honorable mention All-Big Twelve choice by the league's coaches and Associated Press … Started all thirteen games at right defensive tackle, recording 19 tackles (10 solos) with two sacks, 6.5 stops for minus 26 yards and six quarterback pressures … Caused and recovered a fumble … Part of a unit that ranked 19th nationally in scoring defense (20.29 points per game), 17th in rush defense (110.29 yards per game) and 17th in tackles for loss (7.36 per game).

2006 Season

Redshirted as a freshman.

Injury Report

2008: Left the Baylor game (10/04) after he sprained the big toe on his left foot.

Agility Tests

Campus: 5.04 in the 40-yard dash … 1.74 10-yard dash … 2.76 20-yard dash … 4.48 20-yard shuttle … 7.32 three-cone drill … 30.5-inch vertical jump … 9'6" broad jump … Bench-pressed 225 pounds 23 times … 33 3/4-inch arm length … 10 1/4-inch hands.

High School

Attended Southeast (Oklahoma City, Okla.) High School, playing football for head coach Michael Branch … Named National Defensive Player of the Year by USA Today … 2005 Oklahoma Gatorade Player of the Year … Selected to the Oklahoma Coaches Association All-State team and chosen All-City Athletic Conference Player of the Year … The Super Prep All-American was rated the best player in the Midlands region by that recruiting service and ranked second on their Elite 50 squad, along with being the top-rated defensive lineman in the nation … Super Prep also selected him the Midlands Defensive Player of the Year during his final season … College Football News regarded McCoy as the nation's best defensive tackle and ranked him 10th overall, nationally … Prep Star rated him the second-best defensive lineman in the nation, as he was also a member of their Dream Team Top 100 squad … Scout.com and ESPN rated him the second-best prep defensive tackle in the country … Ranked 21st overall on the 2005 ESPN150 team … Rivals.com rated McCoy the best defensive tackle in the nation and the top prospect in the state of Oklahoma … Logged 82 tackles, 20 sacks and recovered nine fumbles as a senior … Added All-Area, All-State and All-Metro honors as a junior … Finished that season with 83 tackles, including 23 stops for loss, and 20 sacks, adding one interception (returned 48 yards for a touchdown) and two fumble recoveries … At the conclusion of his prep career, he competed in the U.S. Army High School All-American game.

Personal

Human Relations major … Son of Gerald and the late Patricia McCoy … Born 2/25/88 … Resides in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma.

 
Latest News
04/25/2010 - BEST PICK: Oklahoma DT Gerald McCoy -- The Bucs were last against the run and the three-technique position is critical to the Bucs success. In addition to being extremely charismatic, McCoy has an unrelenting motor and the ability to penetrate and be disruptive. He will make every player on defense better.

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