A nice athlete that looks fluid and athletic when blocking in space. Does a good job getting out ahead on screens. Hits his assignments when he's pulling, and does a good job getting out on the second level. A capable cut blocker that does a good job downfield against the linebacker in space, as well as engulfing him straight up. Has good feet and potential in pass protection. Flashes a powerful punch inside and uses his quick hands to get posiition and initiate contact in a short area. Does a nice job redirecting pass rusher up the middle. Flashes good pop off the snap and potential as a drive blocker. PLays with a nice mean streak and does a good job finishing his blocks.
Doesn't have great size or polished footwork in pass protection. Can have some difficulty adjusting in space and struggles against quick inside move in pass protection. Also gives up some ground to bigger, power rushers. Can get overextended on his set up as well as on the second level trying to deliver the blow to the defender. Whiffs on his punch a bit too much, and not as effective when you can get him back on his heels because of less than stellar hands. Will miss some assignments out in space. Struggles with blocking assignments and Florida line often looked confused against the blitz. Not a good snapper, and typically high and erratic when working out of the shotgun.
Pouncey is an athletic guard that moved to center this past year and had a lot of struggles there. While his twin brother Maurkice was a solid center and Florida's line was a well-oiled machine under his leadership at the pivot, it was the opposite this past year with Mike. But he's a player that fits well at guard because of his athleticism. As a true freshman, he played defensive tackle due to injury, starting the final 4 games and finishing year with 8 tackles and an interception. Moved back to offense as a sophomore, and started next 28 games at right guard (with some work at left guard as a junior). He moved to center as a senior with 13 starts.
Pouncey's experience at center means he can stick there as a stopgap option. But he was not a very good center this past year, and so he shouldn't get too much consideration there for a team that is center-needy. His snapping and awareness just isn't' good enough to be trusted there. But moving back to guard, he can make an impact. He'll fit best in a scheme that is going to ask him to block on the move and get out and pull and block in space. That's an area where he can be very good, and could be similar to Logan Mankins at the level. Like Mankins, he's not a guy that is going to be a steamroller, but has good pop, is able to get position, and has the sort of hands that he can become a good position run blocker straight ahead. In pass protection, he shows the potential you like to see, although I think he's going to need some development before he can be a top guard in pass protection. In the right scheme, he can be one of the top guards in the league down the road. Not sure, he's going to come in right away and be a big contributor, because I think to reach his potential he'll probably need to bulk up some more and improve his hands some more. He should be able to handle being a starter as a rookie, but he's definitely a player that with good coaching and development can start to blossom in his second and third year. He definitely has Pro Bowl potential, and I think at worst he'll be a competent starter even with no development in the same mold as Davin Joseph. If he does develop, then he has potential to be a Top 5 guard, although he's not quite the power guy or polished guy in pass protection to think he's a true elite guard.
Pouncey could work in Atlanta as a replacement for Dahl if the Falcons lose him. He's a much better puller than Dahl, and while he won't get as much push as Dahl does, he has the potential to be as good a run blocker because he can get position. In pass protection, he also has the potential to be an upgrade as well because of his superior athleticism. If not replacing Dahl as a starter, he can play on the left side as well, which could hide his flaws in pass protection more since he'd get more help from the center. He's not as powerful as Mike Johnson is going forward, but more athletic and could give the Falcons a good pulling left guard to help strengthen their front. Pouncey is capable of coming in right away and being a starter, although he's not going to be great as a rookie starter. But if the Falcons lost either of their starting guards on the open market, he could compete with Johnson for the starting spot and potentially win it outright because the team likes his athleticism. He could fit in Atlanta, and start to develop into a really good guard at either spot in the future.
For a team looking for an athletic Mankins-like guard, he is worth a first round pick. He's slightly overrated because of his brother's success as a rookie, but he's a nice late first round pick that is good enough to go in the Top 25 if going to the right scheme.
1-poor, 2-weak, 3-above average, 4-very good, 5-elite
Pass Blocking: 3.5
Run Blocking: 3.5
Mean Streak: 4.0
Scouting reports of the centers, guards, and tackles in the 2011 Draft.
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