Mike Pouncey may get a lot of notoriety for being the twin brother of Maurkice (Pro Bowl center and 2010 1st round pick by the Pittsburgh Steelers) but he is much more than just that. An extremely versatile, athletic interior offensive lineman, Mike has a more than good chance of being the second Pouncey in as many years to be a first round pick. Having played defensive line, offensive guard and center, Pouncey will likely settle in as a guard in the NFL. I’d be careful to compare Mike to his brother Maurkice, as Maurkice was unusually talented and highly effective as a rookie. Mike will struggle to live up to such expectations. But with quick feet, good strength, and the demeanor teams like to see on the interior, Pouncey will likely be the first interior lineman drafted, which should be towards the end of round 1.
Pouncey is a good pass protector who has the strength and toughness to be effective on the inside. He has a quick, powerful initial punch, and fluid lateral movement which allows him to mirror defenders effectively. He shows good anchor strength in his bottom half and handles powerful bull rushers effectively. Pouncey displays strong hands that are active and effective disrupting defenders pass rush moves. He plays with good balance most of the time, but can stand too upright occasionally losing leverage to the defender. Pouncey’s arm length is just average but it doesn’t seem to affect his ability to control the defender. As a center, he struggled mightily in shotgun which could be due to inexperience at the position, or possibly his shorter arms. Pouncey never looked comfortable snapping in shotgun and getting into proper pass protection position.
Pouncey shows above average athleticism which allows him to pull and trap block very effectively. He is light on his feet and has good balance when in space. He displays toughness and a bit of nastiness and seems to want to lay the big block when possible. He has good leg drive and the strength to redirect defenders away from the play. He is aggressive, but almost to a fault at times as he tends to get ahead of himself and lunge at defenders. He works well at the second level, but fails to finish blocks consistently. Pouncey locates defenders well and seems to understand different defensive schemes.
Having been moved around on the offensive, and defensive, side of the ball, it may be easy to assume that Pouncey lacks the experience at any one position to fully grasp it. However, Pouncey is an extremely smart, high character player who was effective anywhere he was placed. He has 28 career starts at guard, 13 at center and amazingly even 4 career starts at defensive tackle. Pouncey shows a great work ethic and passion for the game and will be an ideal teammate in the locker room. With his experience he should be able to grasp offensive and defensive schemes at the next level.
Pouncey has quick, powerful hands, but has room for improvement technically. He allows defenders to get inside and stand him upright which causes a loss of balance. I don’t see this as a major problem however, as Pouncey just needs to get settled into a single position to learn the nuances of it. While his versatility is key, he will be best suited to be allowed to learn a single position in the NFL at first.
Pouncey shows good mobility in both pass and run blocking. He has fluid hips, good change of direction, and light feet. He is not an elite athlete, but displays enough mobility on film to be effective on the run in the NFL.
Pouncey has a bad habit of not keeping his feet moving in both pass protection and in the running game at times, relying on his upper-body strength to sustain the block. While this may work in college, defenders in the NFL will quickly expose this flaw. When he’s on, his footwork is actually quite good as he maintains a wide base, good leg churn, and good anchor in pass protection.
It is interesting to note that not only did Pouncey spend time as a freshman at defensive tackle, but he was also very effective when he did. He compiled 8 tackles, a tackle for loss, and an interception in the 5 games he played on the defensive line. The interception came off Chad Henne in the Capital One Bowl. While obviously he won’t switch sides or anything in the NFL, it shows his overall athleticism and football acumen to be able to effectively play multiple positions.
2010: Played and started in all 13 games at center.
2009: Played and started in all 14 games at right guard.
2008: Played and started in all 14 games at right guard.
2007: Played in all 13 games, switched from offensive line to defensive line after week 8 and started final four regular season games and bowl game on the defensive line.
Pouncey is a sociology major.
Awards & Honors
2010: Named Second-Team All-SEC.
2009: A 2009 AP Second-Team All-American … Named to the 2009 Pro Football Weekly All-America Team at offensive guard … AP First-Team All-SEC selection … A 2009 First-Team All-SEC honoree by Phil Steele.
2008: A 2008 second-team All-SEC selection by vote of the league’s head coaches … A 2008 AP All-SEC Honorable Mention selection … 2008 CollegeFootballNews.com All-Sophomore Selection.
Prospect Video Clips
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