Round 1 – No. 15
Mike Pouncey, C/G
Round 1 – No. 15
Height: 6’5″ – Weight: 303 lbs.
Age: 21 – Class: Senior
Upon returning to the Florida Gators for his senior season, center/guard Mike Pouncey declared that his goal was to learn how to snap the ball so he could become a first-round pick and selected than his brother. Waiting patientely in the green room at Radio City Music Hall in New York, NY, Pouncey learned Thursday evening that his goal had been accomplished when he received a phone call from the Miami Dolphins, who decided to select him No. 15 overall in the 2011 NFL Draft.
“I just think it was a perfect fit. I think they were just trying to hide it from other teams that they were interested in me,” he said while on the phone with local media Thursday night. “I mean, I was kind of shocked that they didn’t bring me in or work me out. But I was hoping on draft day that they picked me and I’m glad they did.”
A starter at Florida for three seasons, Pouncey may be able to line up from day one for Miami, a team desperately in need of assistance in the interior of their offensive line. Pouncey can start at guard right away and could, like his brother, have the opportunity to win the center job during training camp, seeing as the Dolphins re-signed starting left guard Richie Incognito in the offseason and selected John Jerry in the third round of last year’s draft to play right guard.
“I’m just going to go out there and work as hard as I can, learn both positions,” he said. “And it’s up to coach [Tony] Sparano and my teammates what position I’ll be playing.”
Pouncey is the first Gators player selected by the Dolphins since then-head coach Nick Saban picked linebacker Channing Crowder in the third round of the 2005 draft.
He was chosen three slots ahead of his brother, center Maurkice Pouncey, who was selected No. 18 overall by the Pittsburgh Steelers in 2010. Maurkice started every game except the Super Bowl (injury) and made the Pro Bowl as a rookie.
“Obviously I know that I’m coming in with big expectations because of all the success that my brother’s had but I’m just going to go out there and earn the respect of my teammates and try to earn a spot on that team,” Pouncey said.
The 43rd Florida player to be selected in the first round of the NFL Draft, he is the fifth consecutive first-round pick for the Gators and 12th in the last 15 years.
WHAT THEY SAID
Dolphins Conference Call Video/Transcript
Head coach Will Muschamp: “I’m happy for Mike that he is getting the chance to realize a lifelong dream. I didn’t coach Mike, but I’ve had the opportunity to meet him and you can tell that he has a passion for the game. I wish him the best of luck.”
» OGGOA’s 2011 NFL Draft Live Blog – Click here!