WDFN’s Matt Shepard has spent a good portion of this week making it known that Mike Pouncey would be the pick at 13 if he controlled the Lions draft. The argument is that if Pouncey is a guy that can play on the inside of an NFL line for the next decade, why worry about it being a reach? Let’s take a look at why Mike Pouncey is regarded as a safe pick in the first round.
Mike Pouncey, G/C, Florida
Weight: 303 lbs.
Arm Length: 32 1/4 in.
Hand Size: 9 3/4 in.
40-Yard Dash: 5.28 sec.
Broad Jump: 8 ft.
3-Cone Drill: 7.66 sec.
Pouncey is arguably this class’ top interior offensive line prospect. He has outstanding football IQ and the ability to become a pro-bowl starter at guard or center. Has great feet needed to mirror pass rushers and pull down the line. Uses his hands well when battling in pass protection. Shows his understanding of the game when recognizing blitzers and effectively combo blocking with teammates. Plays with passion and aggressiveness and has the work-ethic to continue to improve. Defensive tackles with more size and strength than Pouncey can be his kryptonite but there aren’t many holes in this guy’s game. A first round prospect.
Mike Pouncey took over as the University of Florida’s starting center in 2010 after his twin brother Maurkice left for last year’s draft. Mike had a rough transition at first but ended the season as an all-conference player and solidified his standing as the top interior lineman in the 2011 draft. Whether he can match the immediate impact his brother had remains to be seen. Maurkice stepped into a starting role with the Steelers after being selected 18th overall and was an important part of their run to the Super Bowl before an injury forced him out of the playoffs.
ESPN’s prospect profile rates Mike Pouncey as “exceptional” or “above average” in every one of their trait categories. The team that selects Pouncey will get a well-rounded player that does just about everything well. He has the size and athleticism to make an easy transition to the NFL and the intangibles that suggest he can be plugged into a line and counted on barring injury.
A number of mock drafts are showing Pouncey going to the Dolphins at 15 so 13 to the Lions may not be as much of a reach as initially thought although it would still be a shock. What do you think, Lions fans?