Top 25 Saints of 2020: No. 13, Erik McCoy

The Saints offense line lost a big presence in Max Unger due to the retirement ahead of the NFL draft, but Cesar Ruiz came in and performed admirably as a rookie.
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The New Orleans Saints are inching closer to training camp. Several players across the NFL are starting to opt out of the season, and more are sure to follow suit. We keep focusing on our countdown of the top Saints heading into the new year, and check in where we've been before we get to our 13th overall player on the list.

The Countdown

Erick McCoy - Saints Center and Rookie Class of 2019

No. 13 - Erik McCoy

Erik McCoy came in during a rather unique situation for the Saints. Veteran Max Unger decided to retire after 10 seasons in the NFL due to health reasons, leaving behind a big hole in the middle of the team's offensive line. The Saints made a trade with the Dolphins in the draft to take the TAMU product at 48th overall, and he came in immediately to solidify himself as the starting center. 

McCoy appeared and started in all 16 games, grading out as Pro Football Focus' 4th overall center with a 78.0 on 1,113 snaps. He finished as one of three Saints selected to the PFWA All-Rookie team.

"The guy came in there and just played his butt off," said Max Unger in a recent interview with the Saints media.

"It was impressive. He started every game at center. That's hard to do, especially in this offense, Drew (Brees) coming into the huddle and calling the plays at about 100 miles an hour. I think a lot of people have a lot of high expectations for him, and really that whole group."

McCoy's Outlook in 2020

McCoy should continue to anchor the middle of the Saints offense in 2020, even with the team taking Cesar Ruiz in the draft. Ruiz should be penned in as the right guard, and he and McCoy should help bolster the interior. New Orleans has one of the faster lines in the league, and should generate a ton of opportunities in the running game while keeping Drew Brees upright to have another lethal passing attack.