Pros: Has good size and strength, especially for a center. He can block a NT 1 on 1, though he won’t always win the battle. However being able to win a battle with a NT 1 on 1 at all is rare for a center, so it is impressive that he can do it. He seems to have a pretty good stance and seems to be a natural knee bender, and uses his arms and hands well to engage the defender. He plays with good leverage regularly and has good mobility to get out of his stance, wall off a defender or get to the second level to engage a linebacker. He can drive block a defensive tackle effectively and in pass protection he regularly does a good job of picking up blitzes or stunts and rarely, if ever, misses an assignment. Not to mention he does a good job of recovering and anchoring to stop a bull-rush before the pocket is collapsed. He rarely is off target with his snaps in shotgun, and I may not have seen a truly “bad” snap in my time watching him. Has a nice mean streak and will block through the whistle, and even occasionally get a shove or two in after the whistle has been blown. I love to see that nasty streak, especially in offensive lineman.
Cons: Will play high at times and sometimes will get bull-rushed into the pocket by a NT when he has to handle them 1 on 1. He doesn’t look exceedingly good in space or outside on screens and at times will struggle to find someone to block when in space. He is very good at snapping to the shotgun, but I am unsure how he is snapping to a QB when under center. In the few instances I have seen him snap to Tebow under center he has done it without error, but it is still worth consideration that he has limited experience doing this. I have also rarely seen him make offensive line calls to adjust protection in the face of blitz packages, etc. That makes me wonder if he is mentally capable of doing so, though it seems he would be considering the fact that he rarely misses an assignment or blitz pick-up. But it is, again, worth contemplating. Will occasionally get shoves in after the play is over which could draw penalties in the NFL, but it’s not a major concern.
Overall: Pouncey projects well to the Center position in my opinion. He is strong enough to block NT’s 1 on 1 at times which is extremely rare for a center, making him a rare commodity at the position. He has the strength and mobility to be able to move to guard if necessary which makes him more valuable. He should be capable of making offensive line calls in the NFL, but if not he should be able to slide over to one of the guard positions. He makes good snaps to his QB in shotgun and seems to do the same under center, and he is an effective pass blocker and run blocker. He could use some technique work and fundamental development, but he is fairly fundamentally sound, especially for a junior declaring a year early.
Projection: Top 25-30: Pouncey is a rare center prospect and is worthy of a 1st round pick. He is strong enough to block strong defensive tackle prospects 1 on 1, which is very rare for a center. Any number of teams could use a center like that who can drive block effectively and be an effective pass blocker. Pouncey could anchor an offensive line for a decade, and that is worthy of a 1st round selection, potentially as high as the top 20.
1-poor, 2-weak, 3-above average, 4-very good, 5-elite
PASS BLOCKING: 4.0
RUN BLOCKING: 4.0
MEAN STREAK: 4.0
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