Is really coordinated through contact as well, does a nice job sitting into his stance, maintaining his balance and cleanly shuffling his feet through the play. Now, isn't the most aware at times off the snap, will struggle to recognize his man and get caught taking improper angles, allowing himself to be jolted on contact. But, he's a good enough athlete to rework his hands and at least create a stalemate inside and stick to the block.
Is comfortable on the move, takes good angles in space, is pretty fluid/rangy for a big guy and breaks down well on contact. Does a nice job as a short-area athlete chipping at the line, quickly redirecting and reaching a linebacker off his frame.
Looks comfortable in pass protection, takes a quick first step off the line and does a great job keeping his base down and feet under him laterally. Is smooth when asked to slide and shuffle and displays impressive mirror ability even in space. Now, isn't real heavy handed, possesses a quick recoil and always keep his hands up and ready to punch, but too often allows defenders to fight off his block and he relies more so on his ability to mirror in space. However, redirects well and can anchor on contact, as he works his hands to consistently gain inside leverage.
Does have trouble with his accuracy snapping from the gun at center; might be limited to guard only in the NFL.
Impression: A gifted athlete who plays with bend, explosion and natural athleticism in both the run and pass game. No reason to think this guy can't be starting early in his NFL career and become a very good lineman at the next level."
Mike Pouncey saw action in every game at defensive tackle, starting the final four games, registering eight tackles, including a tackle for loss and an interception against Chad Henne and the Michigan Wolverines in the Capital One Bowl.
He moved back to the offensive side of the ball in 2008, starting the next 28 consecutive games at right guard and earning postseason All-SEC accolades from conference coaches following each season.
Pouncey once again made a position change in 2010, sliding left to take over his brother's former spot at center. Like his brother, Maurkice, the No. 18 overall pick of the 2010 draft, Mike is a good fit at any of the three interior positions, though the conversion didn't come without problems. Mike Pouncey struggled with inaccurate snaps the first few games of the season and ultimately might not be able to match his brother's lofty draft status. Barring injury, Mike Pouncey appears capable of continuing the family legacy as the top interior linemen in the draft.
Pass Blocking: Provides a quick initial punch before easing out of his stance. Good balance and lateral agility to mirror the defender. Strong, active hands and long arms allow him to keep his opponent controlled. Can get a little high with his pad level, but shows impressive flexibility and core strength in being able to anchor against a quality bull rush. Struggled early in the year snapping the ball with accuracy out of the shotgun and getting his hands up quickly in pass protection. Has the agility to move back outside to guard.
Run Blocking: Quick off the snap. Latches on, shows very good upper-body strength and lateral agility and can turn the defender away from the ballcarrier. Plays with good pad level and shows some nastiness in his game. Looks to drive his assignment downfield or into the turf.
Pulling/Trapping: Good initial quickness out of his stance when pulling. Keeps a tight line around linemates, showing good balance and foot speed to get around the edge. Has light feet for a big man and can locate and get to his target in the open field. Effort isn't always consistent sustaining blocks at the second level. Effective trap blocker. Good initial quickness to turn and seal off the defender.
Initial Quickness: Efficient and athletic out of his stance, quickly gaining the advantage over his opponent. Typically gets in the first punch in pass protection.
Downfield: Has the balance and sure feet to be effective as a downfield blocker, but is a bit inconsistent in his effort. Flashes some nastiness, showing a willingness to make the emphatic block to try and intimidate his opponent.
Intangibles: Nearly identical twin brother Maurkice was Florida's starting center each of the past three seasons and was selected No. 18 overall pick of the 2010 NFL Draft by the Pittsburgh Steelers. Prior to Maurkice leaving Florida early for the NFL, the twins made most of their decisions together. Maurkice wasn't willing to sign with Florida until they offered Mike a scholarship, for example. The twins selected Florida over Florida State, Clemson, Miami (Fla.) and Michigan.
Movement: He is a coordinated athlete and stays on his feet. He is an outstanding pull blocker and usually eliminates his man from the play. He has the foot quickness to slide side to side. His athleticism allows him to get out of his stance quickly while maintaining his balance. Moves body well to adjust to quick pass rushers attacking the inside.
Pass Blocking: Pouncey sets up quickly with balance and leverage. He gets hands up fairly quick. Uses a good hand punch to keep defender at bay most of the time, but is an area that needs improvement. Has good leverage and base to withstand initial push from the defender who is bull rushing. He is very good at setting up quickly and uses his quick feet to get out of stance and slide side to side to neutralize defender.
Quickness: He has very good foot quickness. He has good flexibility that allow him to bend knees to give him good explosion coming out of his stance. Pouncey is a very smart football player and can handle complex defensive schemes and diagnoses the play quickly. He is very instinctive and reacts to defender movement on the line of scrimmage.
Run Blocking: He does a decent job on positional and angle blocks. He needs to work on pushing defensive lineman straight back and finishing the block thru the whistle. He gets out of his stance quickly and jolts the defender with his hands. Has the foot quickness and agility to pull and lead block well out in space.
Strength: Pouncey has good playing strength but lacks power to move the defensive lineman straight ahead on running plays. He does however has the body type to handle the massive nose tackles at the pro level. He needs to work at exploding into the defender more in the running game. Has the strength to handle bull rushers when he keeps his feet under him and uses leverage.
Technique: His overall production is great in key situations and is outstanding when he uses proper techniques. Very consistent in pass protection using good hand placement. Needs to show more aggression in the run game and drive defenders into the ground. Maintains very good concentration especially on key downs and situations.
Final Word: Pouncey is a good athlete overall and with his foot quickness, balance, and good understanding of the guard/center position will make an immediate contribution to whomever drafts him. His versatility to play either position is a plus and will raise his stock come draft day. He has good awareness and can handle complex defensive line schemes. He plays with good leverage and has outstanding balance when out in front in the running game. He needs to be more aggressive in finishing blocks through the whistle. Pouncey will be an outstanding professional with better technique use and gaining playing experience. He is likely going to be the first interior lineman drafted probably in the 1st round in the 2011 NFL draft."
Pouncey has all the tools to be an elite NFL guard.
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.
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)"
Positive: Tough, powerful interior blocker best in a small area. Explosive in all his actions, quickly gets his hands into defenders then removes them from the action. Keeps his feet moving, keeps his head on a swivel, and plays with a nasty attitude. Flashes the ability to adjust and easily knocks defenders from their angle of attack. Stays square, bends his knees, and controls opponents once engaged at the point of attack.
Negative: Struggled with snaps for most of last season when he played center. Ineffective in motion and not light on his feet. Lacks balance off the line of scrimmage.
Analysis: Pouncey is well-built and strong at the point of attack with the ability to annihilate defenders in one-on-one blocking. He does not possess the movement skills of his brother but will be a very productive in a system that limits his area responsibilities."
Negatives: Inconsistent... Slow to recognize stunts and delayed blitzes... More of a wall-off blocker in space than actual hitter... Can be beat by quicker three-techniques... Will lunge and lose balance... Doesn't keep his head up... Struggles snapping the ball, especially from the shotgun... Looked better in 2009 as a Guard, will get some misguided consideration at Center."
More of the same continued this season, even though 2009 ended in disappointment with a loss to Alabama in the SEC Championship. The Gator offense finished first in the conference in an incredible amount of categories, including total yards (5,751, or 442.4 per game), rushing yards (2,928), and rushing yards per carry (5.6). He was a Second Team All-SEC selection by the conference's coaches in 2008 and this season he was named to the All-SEC First Team by both the coaches and the media. Pouncey stands at 6'5 and 320 pounds, perhaps ever so slightly bigger than his brother, who has starred at center for the Gators.
Mike is not quite as agile as Maurkice; Mike has been clocked at 5.29 in the 40-yard dash and generally runs in the 5.3s. He does not have the pass-blocking skills necessary to be an elite tackle in the NFL, but he has the ability to be a major force in the running game at guard."
Like his twin brother Maurkice, Mike Pouncey is not only schematically versatile; he can play multiple positions along the offensive line. The interior lineman started all 14 games both as a sophomore and a junior, mostly at the right guard position, and also started on the left side last year. This season he is expected to take over at center, replacing his brother who left early for the NFL. The remaining Gator is skilled to the point that the team even used him at tackle this past spring and some of the coaches at Florida believe he can play center, guard and tackle. That would give new meaning to the term ‘jack-of-all-trades’ when it comes to scouting offensive linemen.
During his two-year stint as a starter Pouncey consistently graded out as one of the top offensive linemen in the SEC, earning second team all-conference honors in 2008 (by the coaches) before cracking the first team and making several All-American squads a year ago. Standing at 6’4” and 310 pounds Pouncey is the new age prototype for NFL centers—gigantic, muscular, and athletic. The Gators are very confident that he can make the transition to the center position not just because of his physical ability, but due to his intelligence and leadership skills as well.
Pouncey lacks elite athletic ability, the type that can make an interior lineman a first round pick. He may be very strong but if he is going to play guard fulltime at the next level the Lakeland native would have to bulk up as NFL teams usually like their guards to tip the scales in the 325-330-pound range. There are those who are predicting back-to-back drafts with a Pouncey going in round one, but it says here that Mike Pouncey is going to have wait a day to hear his name called and is more likely to go in the second round of the 2011 NFL Draft."
The reality, however, is that Mike is not the player his twin brother is, and has really struggled with snapping at center, wrist-snapping bad balls in every game. He needs to move back to guard in the pros. He is big, tough and has a passion for the game and likely will be drafted relatively early, but the converted defensive tackle is not as natural or NFL-ready as Maurkice and figures to be drafted a round or two later."
Mike Pouncey is the highest rates O Guard in the nation, and I, for one, feel that it's completely justified: The guy is a natural Croucher who commands exceptional Launch Speed off the Snap, has the Strength to Anchor well against the Pass Rush, displays superior Power to Drive in the Run Game, and has outstanding Lateral Agility and Flanking Speed on Pulls + Traps. His issues with snapping in the Shot Gun are well documented, and it is an open question how effective he could be as a Center in the Pro Game. But there is no question that he's got all the tools to become and exceptional O Guard.
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