Mock Draft 2.0: Falcons select center Maurkice Pouncey

In our latest mock draft, the Falcons select Florida center Maurkick Pouncey, the heir-apparent for Todd McClure.

In our latest mock draft, the Falcons select Florida center Maurkice Pouncey, the heir-apparent for Todd McClure.

BIRDLAND – Welcome to Mock Draft 2.0!

This is the first one since getting back from the NFL scouting combine. There was plenty of information to digest from Falcons head coach Mike Smith and general manager Thomas Dimitroff who addressed the national meeting.

Who should the Falcons select with the 19th pick in the draft?

View Results

Loading ... Loading ...
The Falcons won the coin toss and officially will select 19th in the draft. With the ongoing Dunta Robinson talks, it’s safe to conclude that they will not take a cornerback with the first round pick.

The Falcons like their defensive ends and have concluded that a healthy Peria Jeria would have helped the pass rush immensely. Therefore, they are not compelled to reach for a defensive end after taking a tackle and an end in last year’s draft. Also, this draft is pretty deep at the position.

Dimitroff made it clear that the Falcons are a “needs based” drafting team. They know that center Todd McClure, who turned 33 in February, can’t play forever. So the decision will come down to either getting the McClure replacement or a linebacker for Mike Peterson, who will turn 34 in June.

With the 19th pick in the 2010 NFL draft, the Atlanta Falcons, in a surprise move, will select Florida center Maurkice Pouncey over Missouri linebacker Sean Weatherspoon.  In Pouncey, the  Falcons would get the top center in the draft, McClure’s eventual replacement and long-term protection for Matt Ryan.

Some of the risers after the combine include California running back Jahvid Best, UCLA defensive tackle Brian

California RB Jahvid Best helped himself at the combine.

California RB Jahvid Best helped himself at the combine.

Price and Texas Christian outside linebacker Jerry Hughes.

Some of the players who dropped where Florida’s Joe Haden, Georgia Tech’s Jonathan Dwyer, Tennessee defensive tackle Dan Williams and Oklahoma tight end Jermaine Gresham.

AJC’s 2010 MOCK DRAFT 2.0

Staff writer D. Orlando Ledbetter projects the first round:

1. St. Louis Rams: Gerald McCoy, DT, Oklahoma. The word is that head coach Steve Spagnuolo has fallen in love with McCoy. They will kick the tires on quarterbacks Sam Bradford and Jimmy Clausen, but pass.

2. Detroit Lions: Ndamukong Suh, DT, Nebraska. Coach Jim Schwartz is trying to re-create the type of defensive front he had as a coordinator in Tennessee.

3. Tampa Bay Buccaneers: Eric Berry, DB, Tampa Bay. The Creekside High product is the consensus No. 3 pick and Falcons fans will get to see him twice a year.

4. Washington Redskins: Russell Okung, OT, Oklahoma State. The Redskins have to get a replacement for the retired Chris Samuels.

Bryan Bulaga, Iowa

Bryan Bulaga, Iowa

5. Kansas City Chiefs: Byran Buluga, OT, Iowa. Can maul in the run game and is an excellent pass protector. He held Georgia Tech’s Derrick Morgan without a sack in the Orange Bowl.

6. Seattle Seahawks: Derrick Morgan, DE, Georgia Tech. Pete Carroll knows his defense has to be upgraded and passes on the quarterbacks. . .  for now.

7. Cleveland Browns: Sam Bradford, QB, Oklahoma. New Cleveland president Mike Holmgren took a different approach to studying the quarterbacks at the combine. “We will watch them,” Holmgren said. “We’re not going to sit down with them here. If we are interested, we’re going to bring them in to Cleveland.” There haven’t been in Bradford sightings in the Flats yet.

8. Oakland Raiders: Anthony Davis, OT, Rutgers. Al Davis was probably be excited about all of the back flips that Jason Pierre-Paul can do, but goes for some help for the offensive line.

9. Buffalo Bills: Jason Pierre-Paul, DE, South Florida. One of the stars of the combine. Go find his back flip video on youtube.com.

10. Jacksonville Jaguars: Rolando McClain, LB, Alabama. The Jaguars get a middle linebacker to anchor the defense.

11. Denver Broncos: Dez Bryant, WR, Oklahoma State: The Broncos go for a Brandon Marshall replacement.

12. Miami Dolphins: Earl Thomas, FS, Texas. He had a great combine and is moving up on several boards. Dolphins need better back-end secondary coverage.

13. San Francisco 49′ers: C.J. Spiller, RB, Clemson. The 49ers need some help for the over-worked running back Frank Gore.

14. Seattle Seahawks: Jimmy Clausen, QB, Notre Dame. Carroll gets his quarterback of the future.

15. New York Giants: Sergio Kindle, LB, Texas. The G-men get a linebacker to replace Antonio Pierce.

16. Tennessee Titans: Carlos Dunlap, DE, Florida. With Kyle Vanden Bosch off to Detroit, the Titans have to restructure the defensive line.

17. San Francisco 49ers: Trent Williams, OT, Oklahoma. The 49ers want to keep their running game moving and

Carlos Dunlap, Florida.

Carlos Dunlap, Florida.

will have book-end tackles in Williams and Joe Staley.

18. Pittsburgh Steelers: Joe Haden, CB, Florida. The Steelers go by what they see on film and not combing 40 times.

19. Atlanta Falcons: Maurkice Pouncey, C, Florida. Thomas Dimitroff said the Falcons will draft based on need. They know Todd McClure can’t keep playing forever and pull the trigger on the top center in the draft. Not the sexiest pick, but you can’t start without the center.

20. Houston Texans: Sean Weatherspoon, LB, Missouri. The three-time all-Big 12 pick gets to return to the Lone Star state.

21. Cincinnati Bengals: Golden Tate, WR, Notre Dame. The Bengals want to put some speed opposite of Ocho Cinco.

22. New England Patriots: Taylor Mays, S, USC. A super athlete slips because his film is not that good. He only had two picks in three years as starter.

HEY 19!: Michigan defensive end Brandon Graham could be available with the 19th pick.

Brandon Graham, Michigan.

23. Green Bay Packers: Mike Iupati, OT, Idaho. The Packers let both of their tackles, Chad Clifton and Mark Tauscher, leave during free agency.

24. Philadelphia Eagles: Brandon Graham, DE, Michigan. He fits the Eagles scheme and can help generate a pass rush.

25. Baltimore Ravens: Arrelious Benn, WR, Illinois. The search for wide receivers has been ongoing in Baltimore for quite some time now.

26. Arizona Cardinals: Bruce Campbell, OT, Maryland. Has great size at 6-foot-7, 310 pounds. Has a big upside.

27. Dallas Cowboys: Chad Jones, S, LSU. Cowboys reach here for Jones, but they like his size and striking ability.

28. San Diego Chargers: Jahvid Best, RB, California. Makes a leap into the first round after a fine showing at the combine.

29. New York Jets: Demaryius Thomas, WR, Georgia Tech. Jets decide to get vertical weapon for their young quarterback.

30. Minnesota Vikings: Patrick Robinson, CB, FSU. He addressed his lack of a physical nature at the combine and was convincing. “If they want me to tackle, I’ll tackle,” Robinson said.

31. Indianapolis Colts: Brian Price, DT, UCLA. Gets great penetration and would be a nice fit in the Colts

Jonathan Dwyer, Georgia Tech.  (Johnny Crawford, jcrawford@ajc.com)

Jonathan Dwyer, Georgia Tech. (Johnny Crawford, jcrawford@ajc.com)

defense.

32. New Orleans Saints: Jerry Hughes, LB, Texas Christian. A versatile linebacker, who made a lot of plays for the Horned Frogs.

ON THE FRINGE: Jonathan Dwyer, RB, Georgia Tech; Ryan Matthews, RB, Fresno State; Kyle Wilson, CB, Boise State; Jared Odrick, DT, Penn State; Perrish Cox, CB, Oklahoma State; Dan Williams, DT, Tennessee; Jermaine Gresham, TE, Oklahoma; Charles Brown, OT, USC, Everson Griffen, DE, USC and Colt McCoy, QB, Texas.

You can follow the Falcons Beat and Falcons Fan blogs on Twitter at AJCFalcons and you can join the Facebook Fan page at AJC Falcons.

207 comments Add your comment

Rod

March 5th, 2010
2:16 pm

Rod

March 5th, 2010
2:18 pm

YIPPEE!!!!!

I was first. Um, what was the blog about? Oh yeah, seriously? A Center?

joey563

March 5th, 2010
2:24 pm

If Spoon is there at that pick i just can not see Atlanta passing on him unless they take Brandon Graham.

Ree Roe

March 5th, 2010
2:28 pm

Do you really think the Broncos draft a WR with potential attitude & disciplinary problems after theyre already tryin to get rid of Marshall?

Pouncey is a reach for us especially if Sean Witherspoon or Brandon Gresham are available

-REEturn of Roe!!

NCFalconFan

March 5th, 2010
2:30 pm

Over Defense and Sean Witherspoon?

FalconTransplant

March 5th, 2010
2:30 pm

A Center? Really? We’re going to pass on DE, OT, OLB (Spoon?) to take a center? If that’s true then we should trade down to the 2nd round to get him ’cause he’ll still be there.

I think DLed you’re either drinking the pre draft Koolaid that the front office is serving or you’ve been paid off by the front office to print distractions to us all. Either way I’m just very greatful that you’re not making the decisions for my Falcons.

FalconTransplant

March 5th, 2010
2:31 pm

SPOON! SPOON! SPOON! SPOON!

Respect

March 5th, 2010
2:32 pm

Hope your wrong DLed, what a waste of a first round pick.

D Money

March 5th, 2010
2:32 pm

Brandon Graham–build the lines before anything else

FalconTransplant

March 5th, 2010
2:32 pm

Think about how much leadership will improve our DEF! Get Sppon and watch us get dominant.

Bad call

March 5th, 2010
2:33 pm

Looking at the players selected beyond #19, Pouncey looks like a bad pick for the Falcons.

First, it is extremely difficult to justify taking an interior lineman near the middle of the first round. He would have to be the clear-cut best interior OL on the board, and Pouncey isn’t it.

Second, if the Falcons were going to pick an interior OL at 19, you would think they would go with Iupati, who has drawn rave reviews from scouts and can basically play all five OL positions.

Finally, I would be surprised if they went OL over defense (particularly LB) in the first round. Based on your predicted selections, Weatherspoon looks right the correct pick.

GATORZONE

March 5th, 2010
2:35 pm

no way. They go Dline or Linebacker!

LongSufferingFalconsFan

March 5th, 2010
2:38 pm

Passing on Weatherspoon? I just don’t see that happening.

Craig

March 5th, 2010
2:40 pm

First off, the redskins traded for a OT today, so they wont be taking one in the draft. Detroit is also trading for a DT so I doubt they will take a DT too. Just a few things I noticed.

While the Falcons do need to address OL in the first couple rounds I believe, we also need a LB, DE and maybe even a TE as well. I hope we sign a DE in free agency to plug the gap and draft Weatherspoon or a new offensive toy in the first round.

Please dont say take a DT or S in the draft. It reeks of ignorance.

How about the Falcons going hard after Robinson? If that doesnt make you excited about the upcoming season, what will?!?

and DOL, maybe you should have waited a few days to see how Free Agency plays out before this column, but at least we have some football to read about! For that I am thankful!

Marcus

March 5th, 2010
2:40 pm

Ree Roe,
I hear you …. but I think right around the Falcons draft position is where we see teams start to make a “run” on certain positions, depending on the depth of talent and if one club starts to get antsy if the player they like will still be around late in the 1st or early in the 2nd (depending on said clubs draft position).
If that happens and “our guy” drops, we are in prime position to trade down….or if there is a run on OL starting at pick No. 15-17, we may have to get our OL guy (maybe even overvalue the player) because teams are making a run on a position *shrug*

ATLJBO

March 5th, 2010
2:40 pm

Wow

Umm….. I don’t like the pick….I agree that we need a center for the future but not this early…Todd McClure is still one of the best Centers in the NFL, he has not had any major injury concerns, and his salary for the next 2 years is dirt cheap ($1.6 million -2010; and $1.7 million -2011)

I dont see Center as a big need… OLB, DE OT, WR

A guy name Sean Weatherspoon just ran a 4.49 and did 35 reps of 225lbs at his proday…. The guy is good in coverage and he is also a good blitzer (left college with 12.5 sacks)

come on

March 5th, 2010
2:40 pm

i think your pick of best to san diego is poor. they wont take a small back. they tendered darren sproles and will need an every down back. why draft what they already have.

FalconTransplant

March 5th, 2010
2:43 pm

Spoon wants to be here. If anything we trade back but stay in the first round and either take spoon or graham. I vote for Spoon!

Stirg d'Nahsif

March 5th, 2010
2:44 pm

Bored, D.O? Is this for the sake of argument? You must be passing time, waiting on a report from the Dunta Robinson signing. I think that you may be the only writer, for the NFL, that would suggest Pouncey is drafted in the first round. I would agree, however, we have a need on the offensive line but center is a stretch for 19. Somewhere (draft or free agency), we need to grab a left tackle (Sam Baker is most comfortable on the other side). That would solidify our offensive line and return our run game to form.

Other than Robinson, D.O., what’s the buzz on other positions of need: WR, OLB, DE and OL?

cajdawg

March 5th, 2010
2:45 pm

If they traded back 10 or so slots and picked up a second round pick, I would be OK with Pouncey. 19 is too high for a center.

Ree Roe

March 5th, 2010
2:52 pm

I think picking a center at #19 would be difficult to sell to the fanbase. With the momentum of signing free agent CB Dunta Robinson & coming off of back to back winning seasons you select a center? Good luck filling the Georgia Dome with decisions like that

-REElentessly Roe!!!

D. Orlando Ledbetter

March 5th, 2010
2:53 pm

Stirg: Updated the explanation. It really, really makes sense. (Psst: Ratliff and Witherspoon gave old Mud Duck a rough go last year.) Romberg is 29. You’ve got to get some talent behind him and Mike Pete.
As for DE, Sidbury has to blossom and Brandon Lang could be their in the third.

brick

March 5th, 2010
2:55 pm

I dont mind the pick. It is not a sexy pick but it is a solid pick. The Falcons need to protect Matt Ryan. I would prefer Mike Iupati but that is my opinion. I also think Sean Weatherspoon and Everson Griffen should in the discussion. This is a good draft and whoever the Falcons draft should be a solid player.

WTF are you thinking??

March 5th, 2010
2:59 pm

DOL, not real good at this whole mock draft thing huh…..
First off, St Louis will take a QB with the fist pick, that’s what you build a Franchise with.
Next the Redskins are signing thier replacement for LT tackle in Free Agency.
We all know Al Davis will not make a smart draft pic, and will go for the fastest player available.
LEt me skip to the end here, the falcons will draft Defense, hopefully Spoon if he’s still available. Why would they take a center with the 19th pick, who’s a 2nd or 3rd roun pick on most boards. Get a grip man, if this is the best you can do, why bother.

Doc

March 5th, 2010
2:59 pm

Sam Bradford at #7?

HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA

Stirg d'Nahsif

March 5th, 2010
2:59 pm

I stand corrected, D.O.. The Shutdown Corner’s Mock Draft Part 2, has the Philadelphia Eagles picking Pouncey at 24. I didn’t know the kid had a grade for the first round. My bad!

Doc

March 5th, 2010
3:01 pm

Sam Bradford at #7?

HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA
HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA
HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA
HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA
HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA
HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA
HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA
HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA
HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA

FalconTransplant

March 5th, 2010
3:02 pm

If a Center is something the Falcons want early, won’t the C from Boston U be availible in the 3rd? Plus he has history with Matt Ryan. Then we can use or 19th for DE/OLB (Graham/Spoon)

Sly Ty

March 5th, 2010
3:06 pm

DOL you have been reading between the lines, and I absolutely agree with your assessment. Not just because I have been saying the same thing to myself for the last 6 weeks. In a pass driven league, there are not many LB that excel in pass coverage, therefore we don’t need a LB with that first pick. As a team we had a down year in sack numbers, however Abe, Big Sidbury, and the “Beer Man,” along with a healthy Chauncey Davis we should be set at DE. Sliding Jamal Anderson, who is excellent at stuffing the run, into the DT rotation will solidify the D-Line. I have thought all along to draft the best center, which Pouncey is, to replace McClure in the 2011 season. If we are lucky, Pouncey won’t be forced into action till the 2011 season. TD is doing a great job yet again. I trust whatever TD does, but i think he will draft Pouncey at 19 as well. I don’t think he will trade back and risk losing the guy. Pouncey had alot to do with making Tebow look good. Pass protecting, and creating those gaping running lanes up the middle for Tebow to run into, and keeping pass rush pressure out of his face with that horrible elongated throwing motion of his.

Stirg d'Nahsif

March 5th, 2010
3:08 pm

Last year, D.O., I do recall your accuracy of mocking the draft last year. You had, what, 28-30 out of 32 accuracy rating with your mock? Obviously, you know what you’re talking about (or you got that new spy software that eavesdrops on GM’s cellphones). So you like Pouncey, huh? You’re right, that would make sense. I’d sure hate to pass up on a Weatherspoon or a Graham; but I would not, at all, be displeased with drafting, first, on the offensive side of the ball. Good work!

Stirg d'Nahsif

March 5th, 2010
3:14 pm

Suddenly, the Detroit Lions look good…

nativefalcon

March 5th, 2010
3:14 pm

You would have to be a IDIOT to pass up on Witherspoon or graham especially for center. Deled what you SMOKING? Considering McClure was taken in 7th round we can find another center.

Doc

March 5th, 2010
3:14 pm

@Stirg d’Nahsif – your nose is getting dirty.

WINGMAN

March 5th, 2010
3:16 pm

D.O.L.,I LIKE THE WAY YOU THINK ON TJHIS ONE!! TRULY IT REEK’S OF T.D. B/C THIS IS HOW HE THINK’S!!!

FalconTransplant

March 5th, 2010
3:18 pm

We’re just deflecting so that nobody above us in the draft take our guy (Graham/Spoon) TD wont pass on a guy that has said he WANTS to be here and who’s productive AND a leader on the field.

Gary

March 5th, 2010
3:18 pm

This pick makes sense….BUT NOT IN THE FIRST ROUND! Unless Falcons do ALOT more in free agency or trades before the draft they will take defense at 19. Robinson is a move in the right direct for Falcons defense but wont be enough. Plus, o-line is a position you can get quality at deep in ANY draft. Falcons may go 0-line in 3rd round possibly later but definitely not the first.

D. Orlando Ledbetter

March 5th, 2010
3:21 pm

You guys are killing me. I’ve got to stand tall in the pocket today. Let it sink in for a minute. . . .

Steven

March 5th, 2010
3:23 pm

Why draft a center who moves the ball on every snap? The NFL officials aren’t as blind as SEC officials are.

FalconTransplant

March 5th, 2010
3:24 pm

Look at the Robert Gallery pick by the Raiders. There is always a need to improve the line, but you can do it in later rounds. We need to replace an aging Peterson

Slick

March 5th, 2010
3:31 pm

Nope. No way. The Falcons are not good enough yet to start drafting back up players. I know we need a center, and probably soon, but we can’t spend our only pick in the first 80 something on a player who wont be an instant starter.

teamguy

March 5th, 2010
3:36 pm

DOL, it’s your mock draft, pick who you like. I must admit, I haven’t seen this guy in anyone’s first round, so you’re definitely thinking outside the box. Me, I’m holding out hope for Spiller. I just think if he’s there when you pick, you pick him. If not, try for McCluster later on. But you’re right, eventually we’ll need a good center, so you may be alright with Pouncey. You think it’ll be Sunday before a deal is reached with Robinson?

O'Brien

March 5th, 2010
3:36 pm

DOL,

I think Mike Peterson will need to be replaced before McClure, and a defensive pick at #19 will get more PT than our center of the future. Why would TD draft a center at #19 who might not play at all this year?

I think Weatherspoon is a better pick here. TD can draft a center in the 3rd down, and Smitty will coach them up

tbhawksfan

March 5th, 2010
3:45 pm

Rather get a top 15 OT than a mid thirties C.

c'mon man

March 5th, 2010
3:49 pm

Centers are a postion available later in the draft. Who are they in competition with to get him?

D line or Linebacker for sure.

c'mon man

March 5th, 2010
3:49 pm

You are thinking of the Hawks. Centers in bball not football????

DCNorth

March 5th, 2010
3:54 pm

You don’t draft a center in the first round … you draft a left tackle but not a center. If they get Robinson, they’re gonna go DE or LB in the first round.

ddawgdavis

March 5th, 2010
3:58 pm

Good call DOL, guess when you rip the National Football Post’s mock draft and wait a couple weeks, you can act like it’s breaking news to take Pouncey.

I like the selection of Pouncy or Iupati. Shores up the offensive line, but with no picks in the second round and no desire to sign another FA besides Dunta, it’s kind of scary.

Matt

March 5th, 2010
3:58 pm

Lets stick with ESPN and NFL.com for Mock Drafts…..The Earth would shift on its axis due to the pounding of Falcons fans fists if they took a center with our first pick!

ATLJBO

March 5th, 2010
3:59 pm

DOL

I’m sorry but i dont see Pouncey going in the 1st round in this draft so 19 is wayyyyyyyyyyyyyy to hugh….. Pouncey will end up as a high- mid 2nd rounder.

LOL.. What made you pick Pouncey and we have wayyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyy bigger needs ?

I dont even think Center is a top 5 need

Gary

March 5th, 2010
3:59 pm

Weatherspoon is first on Falcons draft board, if he is not there at our pick they will go Graham, if he is not there they will go Mays or Bryant.