Maurkice Pouncey  OC  Florida

TALENT BOARD

 Round 5


 

STRENGTHS

Maurkice has decent size to maybe be a solid offensive lineman in the right system for the next level.  He shows good upper body strength and when he gets his hands on you, he is very tough to get away from and, at times, can dominate his opponent.  Maurkice is quick out of his stance and does an excellent job snapping the ball for a spread or shotgun offense.

 

NEEDS TO IMPROVE

Maurkice has a lot of very bad habits that he's developed because of his athletic limitations -- ones that will be magnified at the next level.  His stance is poor.  His left leg is ahead of his right leg, which means he is off-balance from the snap.  He lacks lateral agility and the ability to change directions unless he is holding on to his opponent.  He gives away the plays by leaning back in his stance on passing plays and leaning forward on running plays.  You can tell this by looking at his butt and head level on each play.  He struggles going out to the next level unless the LB is standing still so that he can be blocked.  He does not change protections to protect the QB.  Against Arkansas they blitz right up the middle all game long.  He does not combo block at all and does not come off his block in the passing game to help cover the middle on a blitz.  He lacks foot speed to be used in a pulling offensive line system.  He could fit a zone blocking scheme in run protection, but that still leaves his limitations in the passing game as a problem. He does not direct the offensive line at all or call out overloads on the defensive line.  Maurkice does not seem to change the blocking scheme at all once it is set.  Of course, in this offense, he might not be asked to do that at all. 

    

BOTTOM LINE

I just do not understand why Maurkice is considered by some people as the best center in this draft!  I see maybe a right guard for the next level or a player who hangs onto the long snapper's job, but right now I do not see a starting center for an NFL team.  I do respect the fact that this kid has played for a high level program at the college level, but with all of his limitations, his LTI is way out there.  I was careful to list all of the reasons why I do not think very highly of Maurkice for the next level because I know I'll have to take "one for the team" on this profile.  Maybe Maurkice can develop better lateral agility and change of direction skills.  Maybe a good line coach can teach him about protections and put him in a system that will mask his limitations.  I can see him starting for some teams.  But those teams would be teams that think they can "coach this kid up".  Maurkice is not an impact offensive lineman.  I see a serviceable right guard in a system that uses tight splits and has a good blocking back to help him out in pass protection.  That means Maurkice is a systems offensive lineman with long snapping abilities.   

 

Drew Boylhart  1/10