METAIRIE, La. (AP) — The New Orleans Saints have traded up 14 spots in the second round of the NFL draft to take Texas A&M center Erik McCoy with the 48th overall pick they received from Miami.
The decision Friday night to take the 6-foot-4, 303-pound McCoy comes after 2018 Pro Bowl center Max Unger’s recent decision to retire.
The pick also comes despite the signing of free-agent center Nick Easton, who started 12 games at center for Minnesota in 2017 but missed all of last season because of neck surgery.
McCoy took a redshirt in 2015 before starting the past three seasons for the Aggies. He was a captain in all 13 games for A&M last season and was named offensive MVP at the team banquet after being a top blocker for a unit that gained 6,131 total yards.
The Saints have up second round picks this year — 62nd overall — and next year in the trade. New Orleans also sent Miami a sixth rounder this year in exchange for a fourth-rounder.