The Steelers went back to basics with the 18th overall pick in round one Thursday night, going with Florida center Maurkice Pouncey.
Here’s what NFL.com says about him:
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.
The center is 6-4, 304 pounds. Here’s his scouting report from NFL Draft Countdown:
Prototypical size — Excellent athlete — Nimble feet — Great balance, agility and quickness — Smart — Terrific instincts and awareness — Is very strong, physical and aggressive — Understands positioning and angles — Consistently out leverages opponents — Stout at the point of attack — Gets a good push in the run game — Mobile with terrific range to pull and get to the second level — Competitive and a finisher who plays with a nasty demeanor — Tough — Hard Worker — Team Leader — Versatile — Has a lot of experience against top competition.
Shorter arms than you’d prefer — Trouble sustaining blocks — Gets caught reaching and lunging at times — Some issues adjusting in space — Too aggressive on occasion — Most snaps were shotgun and will have to adjust to a traditional offense — Minor durability concerns.
Was a three-year starter for the Gators — Named 1st Team All-SEC and a 2nd Team All-American in 2009 — Won the Rimington Trophy as the nation’s top center in 2009 — “Maurkice” is his middle name, first name is actually “LaShawn” — Has a twin brother, Mike, who also plays at Florida and will be one of the top interior offensive line prospects for the 2011 NFL Draft — Missed a few games with an ankle injury in 2007 — Underwent surgery to repair a torn labrum in his shoulder prior to the 2009 season — Saw extensive action at both center and guard in college and could project to either position at the next level — Is the total package with a well-rounded game and an ideal blend of physical tools and intangibles — As good as any pivot prospect to come along in recent years — Legitimate first round talent.