2011 NFL Draft Player Profile | Mike Pouncey
I think a lot of us know the story about the Pouncey twins. Mike and Maurkice Pouncey were both graduates of Lakeland High School, and both played on the interior line for the Florida Gators.
But Mike decided not to go into the NFL Draft early as he did not receive the grade from the NFL Draft Advisory Board that he had wanted. Pouncey was recruited as an offensive guard, but was moved to defensive tackle as a true freshman. He played in all thirteen games as a freshman and got much needed game experience.
But Pouncey moved back to the offensive side of the ball in 2008 as a sophomore and started the next two seasons at right guard, next to brother Maurkice (who is now with the Pittsburgh Steelers). Pouncey was forced to move to the center position in 2010 to fill the void left by his brother. But he didn’t quite grasp the transition, which is why his draft stock has fallen to some. But you can’t question his ability as a guard, and he’s still quite valuable.
Player Name: Mike Pouncey
Position: Offensive Guard
Arm: 32 1/4
Hand: 9 3/4
Pouncey’s strength lies in his versatility and his intangibles. His awareness is exceptional, and he’s a natural leader, which is a big reason the Gators wanted to move him to center in 2010. He recognizes blitzes, and is a very cerebral offensive lineman. But he is also quite physical. He has good strength and gets a very good push in the run game. He is above average in pass protection, doing a good job in mirroring defenders and getting a good punch off of the ball. His lateral movement is great as he has quick feet, and athleticism. He does a nice job of finishing his initial block and getting to the second level in the run game.
Pouncey is a strong player, but he still struggles with strong penetrating defensive tackles. He tends to get bull rushed easily as he struggles with leverage at times. He’s a bit taller and doesn’t always come out of his stance as low as you’d like, sometimes not getting the proper knee bend. He needs to work on consistently punching his defender and not letting them get too far inside of him, especially against bigger rushers, which is why the move to guard may be a bit better for him as he won’t always have to face big, punishing nose tackles.
I still believe that despite Pouncey’s early struggles in the 2010 season while playing center, that he will be one of the first guards off the board. Teams like Kansas City, New Orleans, Seattle, Chicago and Pittsburgh will take a look at him at the bottom of the first round. I’d be surprised if he fell past Pittsburgh as the situation seems too good to be true reuniting him with his brother on a team that needs offensive line help like I need to grow five inches (I’m only 5’8).
NFL Comparison: Jahri Evans (the comparison to Maurkice is just too easy)