2010 first round draft pick Mike Iupati was very impressive last season as a rookie. He has all the potential to become a pro bowler in the NFL. On the other side, Chilo Rachal has struggled more than his fair share since he was named the starter.
Both Heitmann and Rachal could be question marks heading in to the 2011 season. Although most signs point to them returning and retaining their starting positions on the roster, it is the NFL ... and anything can happen.
There happens to be a few prospects in this years class both at the center and guard positions that could be good solutions to help push Rachal either in to doing better, or on to the bench. Some folks Rachal is not deserving of a starting role, but there have been times both in the run game and the pass game where he has amazed critics and the guys sitting in the booth calling the games.
With that, let's look at Mike Pouncey, the center/ guard from Florida.
This is a short feed, but it illustrates what Pouncey is good at. Like his twin-brother Maurkice, who started at center all year long for the Pittsburgh Steelers, Mike has tremendous ability. Though Maurkice proved to be a better prospect while at Florida, Mike still can be elite at the next level. He may take a bit longer to develop. He is a bit more stiff in his movement than Maurkice but those are things that can be corrected with a real coaching staff in the NFL. In any case, he may not last very long in the draft.
NO STATS AVAILABLE.
Summary: The Florida center. Even if Mike does not reach the potential that his brother has and probably will, I still believe that he will be an NFL starter for quite some time. And like his brother, I fully expect to see him starting the entire year somewhere for somebody.
PREDICTION: 2nd Round. There is a slight possibility that Pouncey, like his brother, could be drafted in the 1st round.