Pros: Very good and quick with his feet off the snap; gets into position to block without a lot of wasted movement. Pouncey is able to drive his opponent back once he engages - he's technical enough, but he really likes to bowl a guy over. Flashes power with his hands at the line and at the second level; can engage his hands under pads and force the action even after he's standing.
Pouncey excels at forcing a defender to one side or the other to create gaps. Pulls and traps with authority and agility and can easily angle back inside to cut off a defender on slide protection. Shows very good form in straight-back pass protection; keeps his hands busy and maintains consistent leverage through his dropback. Nasty streak really shows up in short-yardage and power situations when Pouncey seems to especially enjoy bending his defender back.
Cons: Despite solving the errant snap issue, Pouncey is seen by most as a guard at the next level, and this could affect his draft position, especially with a host of very solid guards in the 2011 draft class. Will occasionally get "jumpy" with his feet and give up ground to defenders to either side if he doesn't have his feet planted. Not always functional when chipping and then going to the next level; he'll need some technique help to avoid just mauling when he's in the NFL, because he'll get abused if he tries that stuff in the pros. Not a developed second-level blocker at this time, though he certainly has the athleticism to gain this attribute.
What does he bring?: Brother Maurkice went to an NFL team that prefers straight man-on-man power blocking to advanced zone schemes, and Mike Pouncey seems, at this point, to be a best fit for the same type of team. What he does bring to the table is an inordinate amount of functional strength - when you see him get legally violent with guys who are now in the NFL, it's sufficiently impressive.
The obvious NFL comparison is with his brother, but I don't see it - I think Mike is just that much more physical and would be best-served by not having to worry about the intricacies of the center position. While he could certainly get the coaching points over time, true piledriver guards don't grow on trees. That's where Mike Pouncey's true value lies.
Is it the right pick? Absolutely, positively. If the Dolphins line Pouncey up at left guard next to Jake Long, you can rack up some very positive projections for any Dolphins running back. And Dolphins head coach Tony Sparano will love working with this guy.
- Mike Pouncey