Conference Call with New Orleans Saints draft pick Erik McCoy - Friday, April 26, 2019
"Thank you. I appreciate it a lot."
Where are you right now?
"I'm back in my hometown, Lufkin, Texas with my family."
Are you having a little party? Big party? What's going on?
"It's a little party right now. I'd say there's probably 40, 50 people here, mainly family members, close friends."
And how did you react when you got the call?
"Burst into tears. This is the moment I've been waiting for my whole life. My family, they have sacrificed a lot for me here and just to be around all of them in this moment. It was honestly the best feeling in my life."
What do you know about this Saints team?
"Drew Brees is the best quarterback in the NFL. (They) Have a great running back – duo of running backs. Very, very good offensive line. Terron Armstead, (I) look up to him a lot. And it's really a winning program, a winning organization."
I'm assuming that they talked to you about what position you'd play, are you coming in as a center?
"Yes sir. I am coming in as a center."
Have they talked to you about where you'd play?
"Yeah. When I got on the phone with them, they viewed me as a center and that's what they want me to come in and play."
Did you watch Max Unger a lot just growing up? Was he a center that you kind of looked up to?
"Being a longtime vet, yes. I am not going to sit here and lie and say that I watched a ton of him. But I do know that he's a heck of a player. And he's definitely a guy that I would like to model my game after."
How much communication do you have with the Saints before the draft?
"Before the draft, I had a formal meeting with them at the Senior Bowl. Then coach (Dan) Roushar came down to College Station, he worked me out for pro day. We had a film session so we had a solid amount of communication going back and forth."
They worked you out at pro day or after pro day?
"At pro day."
When the Saints traded up to make the pick, did you think your name was about to be called?
"Honestly, I had no clue. I knew that there was interest, but on this business you never know."
How flexible are you as far as moving back and forth between center and guard?
"I would say I'm very flexible in that aspect. I have a lot more experience at center, but I played guard pretty much every spring I was at Texas A&M. I have a couple of starts there and I played it in high school so I would say I'm pretty flexible for that."
What were your impressions of Coach (Dan) Roushar?
"I can just tell right now he is a hell of a coach. He is going to push me a lot mentally and physically. That is something that I feel like every rookie coming into the NFL (has to go through). I'm just really excited to get to work with the organization and coach Roushar in particular."
Where do you feel like you thrive as a player?
"I would say that I'm really good at getting to the second level, but I also maintain a block and (can) really be a power mover on the first level. I think it's a combination that I have of power, strength, and speed that's kind of rare as a center."
Have you played with anybody on the team? Do you know anybody here yet?
"No sir. Not that I'm aware of."
You mentioned Terron Armstead, but have you watched much of the rest of the Saints' offensive line? They've been among the best in the league the past couple of years.
"(Terron) Armstead, (Andrus) Peat, Max Unger as you said, those are the three guys that I know them the most."
Have you spent much time in New Orleans?
"I've only been to New Orleans once in my life, but I have some friends that live up there."
Who did grow up a fan of?
"Growing up just in East Texas, my family were Cowboy's fans."
How did your family react tonight?
"They were all happy for me. They were ecstatic. We kind of learned once we got to college that we had to put favorite teams behind us and just move forward to where I could possibly be."
With the 48th pick in the 2019 NFL Draft, the New Orleans Saints selected offensive lineman Erik McCoy.