Packers Prospect Profile – OG Mike Pouncey, University of Florida
Position: G and C (also one season at DT)
Height: 6′5″ Weight: 303 lbs.
Born: July 24, 1989 From: Lakeland, FL
2) High School / College Highlights: Mike Pouncey started his college career by moving from the offensive line to the defensive line as a true freshman. He started the last four games of 2007, finishing with eight tackles and an interception. He moved back to the offensive line in 2008 and started the next 28 games at right guard. After his brother, Maurkice, was drafted by the Pittsburgh Steelers, Mike took over as the Gators’ center for his senior season.
Pouncey was a standout guard at Lakeland High School in Florida and helped block for a team that rushed for over 4,000 yards. Scout.com rated Pouncey the seventh best guard in the country out of high school. Rivals.com pegged him at No. 31.
For the Gators, Pouncey earned AP second team All-American honors in 2009. He made the All-SEC second team in 2008 and 2010. According to CBSsports.com, Pouncey graded out at 92 percent for the 2010 season, tops among Florida offensive linemen.
3) College Stats: 45 career starts (13 at C, 28 at OG, 4 at DT).
4) NFL Combine Results: 5.28 40-yd dash, 25.0 vertical jump, 96.0 broad jump, 7.66 three-cone drill, 4.64 20-yd shuttle.
5) Strengths/Weaknesses: Pouncey struggles at times to snap the ball accurately and get his hands up in pass protection, but since he’s projected as a guard in the NFL, this might not matter. He has good balance and handles bull rushers effectively, which is essential in today’s NFL. Pouncey also typically makes first contact in pass protection and tries to get an early edge on his opponent.
Most reports say Pouncey has a bit of a nasty streak in run blocking and looks to drive opponents into the turf. He also has good quickness and balance while pulling and trapping and shows great upper-body strength.
Pouncey occasionally lapses while trying to sustain blocks on the second level, which could be problematic in the Packers’ zone-blocking scheme.
6) Fit for the Packers: Pouncey’s versatility is what makes him an attractive NFL prospect, especially for the Packers. The Packers played several offensive linemen at different positions the last few seasons. Pouncey is already used to moving around, so playing at either guard position or center should not require much of an adjustment.
With Aaron Rodgers, the Packers have arguably the best quarterback in the NFL. Their top priority should be to protect him and give him the necessary time to make plays with a talented receiving group. You could definitely argue that the Packers would be better off drafting a future replacement for Charles Woodson or finding a pass-rushing complement to Clay Matthews, but if Pouncey is still left at the end of the first round, he will likely be the most talented player left on the board.
I’d take that raw talent and an upgrade in protecting Rodgers over drafting to fill a need each and every time.
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