Mike Pouncey, G/C, Florida Gators
40-Time: (NFL Scouting Combine Time Feb. 23 - Mar. 1 to be added)
Mike Pouncey was the leader of the Gators offensive line in 2010 and was a team captain. He's a strong interior lineman who displays quickness off the snap and the athleticism to pick up the inside blitz and mirror defenders. He has good strength to withstand bull rushes, although there were a few instances when Pouncey was knocked backwards by bigger defenders, and is effective as a run blocker. He plays with an edge to his game and has developed the aggressive attitude NFL teams desire of their interior linemen.
Pouncey has enough agility and balance to pull as a guard and is quick around the corner to get in front of the ball carrier. His quickness off the snap allows him to get his hands up quickly in pass protection, gain leverage on defenders and pull when playing guard. He has long arms and strong hands to keep his man from getting around him. Pouncey is a tough player who plays all the way to the whistle and looks to finish his blocks.
Pouncey struggled snapping the ball early in the 2010 season. His brother, Maurkice, played center for the previous three seasons at Florida and it took a little time for the Gators to get the snap down pat without Maurkice. Teams may look at Pouncey as a guard early in his career with a mind to develop him as a center over the next few seasons.
He has struggled to sustain his blocks at the second level on a consistent basis, but he possesses the strength, athleticism and agility to do so. Pouncey usually gets good pad level, but may be high on occasion, giving up leverage. While he is strong enough to sustain bull rushes, he's had trouble with bigger defenders.
Pouncey is a versatile lineman who can play guard and center in the NFL, making him an attractive pickup for an NFL team in need of help along the interior line. As mentioned, he could play guard initially and move over to center after some grooming. Pouncey began his career as a defensive tackle at Florida before moving to the other side of the line of scrimmage.
He is the twin brother of Maurkice Pouncey, who was the 18th pick of the Pittsburgh Steelers in 2010 and who eventually went on to a Pro Bowl season as a rookie. Maurkice was injured in the AFC Championship Game against the New York Jets and did not play in the Super Bowl loss to Green Bay.
Potential NFL Team, Round
Pouncey should find a home somewhere in the first round of April's draft. Like his brother, he's projected as a late first rounder early in the draft process, but could make his way into the middle of the round come draft day. A popular and very convenient projected home for Pouncey is the Pittsburgh Steelers, where he would join his brother, Maurkice. The Steelers would welcome the additional interior line help and given the success they've had with Maurkice, they could very well look at Mike as a quality selection with the 31st pick.
With two picks in the first round (17 and 28), the New England Patriots have made no secret of their respect for the Florida program, choosing three Gators in last year's draft. The Patriots could look to add some youth to their offensive line by picking Pouncey with one of their first round picks. The Indianapolis Colts (22), New Orleans Saints (24) and Super Bowl Champions Green Bay Packers could look to add Pouncey as well. There is the chance that Pouncey slips into the second round where he shouldn't fall past the middle part of the round.
Danny Hobrock, a sports journalist covering NCAA Football and MLB is the editor of our college football content. His work for Xtra Point Football has garnered national attention and is critically acclaimed. You may email Danny directly @ [email protected] or follow him on Twitter @ DannyHobrock
Baseball season is right around the corner and that means preparing for your Fantasy Baseball Draft. Tune in to Dr. Roto's Fantasy Baseball Podcast's LIVE on Blog Talk Radio, Friday evenings at 11:00 pm EST. To have your questions answered on the air call (646) 915-9367. For those of you that can't listen to the show live, we'll broadcast each show on Around the Horn Baseball as a podcast each week.
Check out these other stories.....