The center position became a position of need again in the 2010 season after center Jamaal Jackson tore his biceps muscle in the first game of the year. After battling back from a torn ACL from the previous season, Jackson once again was shelved on the IR.
Mike McGlynn stepped in for the injured Jackson, but as the season progressed, we began to see opposing defenses blitz up the middle and get pressure on Mike Vick. In order to stop this pressure, let me introduce Florida C Mike Pouncey.
Pouncey, twin brother of Pittsburgh Steelers Pro Bowler Maurkice Pouncey, is big, athletic and versatile. Pouncey is extremely talented and experienced in playing in the perennial conference of the SEC. Most mock drafts have Pouncey going to the New York Giants at pick 19, but the Eagles have been known to move around in the first-round to take the player they covet. Pouncey would be an ideal pick for the Eagles, because he can play center and guard which provides depth across the offensive line.
Pouncey stands 6’4” and 315 pounds and has great intelligence and leadership skills to go along with his athletic ability. He is considered one of the top interior offensive linemen in the 2011 draft. Below is an analysis of Pouncey and a short clip of his game film:
Pass Blocking: Watching Florida early in the year, Pouncey struggled a bit with his accuracy snapping out of the shotgun. Pouncey has strong hands and a long reach to deliver an initial punch to the defender. Pouncey shows great flexibility and is very light on his feet to recover if he gets beat. He is considered one of the better pass blocking centers in the draft.
Run Blocking: Pouncey is very quick off the snap and has a nasty drive to turn his defender away from the ball. He plays low and shows good upper and lower body strength which is essential in run blocking. Pouncey has a great work ethic and plays until the whistle.
Overall, I really like this pick at 23 for the Eagles because it provides depth at the center and guard position. While the Eagles may look to draft a tackle in the first round, I would not be surprised to hear Pouncey’s name be called because of the versatility that he provides.