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2 Days to the Draft: Florida C/G, Maurkice Pouncey

With the Draft fast approaching, it's time to start looking at some potential players for the Patriots. I'm going to put profiles of 2 players a day- one offense, one defensive- and gain a better understanding of the players in the draft.

Florida's Maurkice Pouncey is versatile to play center and guard at the NFL level- and could even spell in as depth at right tackle, according to He has started 39 games despite leaving college a year early. With our own Dan Koppen getting a little long in tooth, it wouldn't blow my mind if we started looking for his replacement. What better player to replace our long term captain than the best center in the draft? The biggest knock against Pouncey is that his performance gets sloppy as the game runs on, but I believe a strong summer of conditioning could push him to do well. Pouncey has very little flaws, according to scouts, and appears to do everything well. However, centers normally aren't drafted early. Do the Patriots jump the gun and grab Pouncey if he's still on the board?

His measurements and some quotes after the jump. Scouting

Height: 6-4. Weight: 306.
Projected 40 Time: 5.15.
Combine 40 Time: 5.23.
Benchx225: 26. Arm: 32 1/2.

Player Comparison: Andre Gurode. Gurode has a good skill set for a center with prototypical height and athleticism. He's a well-rounded player.

Click the link for a more in-depth player review Scouting

03/28/2010 - TOP RATED NFL DRAFT SCOUT CENTERS: *Maurkice Pouncey, Florida, 6-5, 304, 1-2: Winner of the 2009 Rimington Trophy, awarded annually to the nation's top center, Pouncey plays with a nasty disposition and delights in putting defenders on their backs. His toughness was reflected before the Sugar Bowl when he had to receive treatment for kidney stones hours before kickoff but played. Although he left Gainesville a year early, Pouncey has shown enough to be ranked the top center prospect in this draft. Coaches rave about his field intelligence and ability to make all of the offensive line calls while making the shotgun snap for the Gators. He has exceptional quickness and gets into good position to pass protect if somebody is over him and shows excellent awareness helping other linemen. His identical twin, Mike, plays right guard for the Gators, but he chose to return for his senior season. - Frank Cooney, The Sports Xchange, Sports/USA TODAY Scouting

Pouncey is a versatile lineman that has lined up at both center and guard. He is a squatty, quick-footed athlete that can roll his hips to redirect and adjust to movement or sink his hips to hunker down against a powerful bull rush by big nose tackles. He is quick with his first step after the snap and quick to get a fit with his hands but will let his weight get too far forward at times. Pouncey had surgery to repair a torn labrum in his shoulder in May of 2009 and durability could become a concern down the road. He should be quick to see the playing field thanks to his versatility.

Click the link for a more in-depth player review

Verdict: While I think Pouncey is a great player, I don't see us taking him in the first round. We picked up Dan Connolly last year who seems to be a more economical version of Pouncey- a player who can be both center and guard. Coming from Florida and Tim Tebow, it is uncertain how Pouncey would perform in front of a pocket quarterback who doesn't run. I think we pass on Pouncey due to our depth in the center of our offensive line.