Mock Draft 3.0: Q & A with Maurkice Pouncey

Oklahoma quarterback Sam Bradford is headed for St. Louis in the Mock Draft 3.0.

Oklahoma quarterback Sam Bradford is headed for St. Louis in the Mock Draft 3.0.

BIRDLAND – There’s some movement in the Mock Draft 3.0, but for second week in a row, the Atlanta Falcons are selecting LaShawn Maurkice Pouncey with the 19th pick in the draft.

Some of you were irate with the pick last week.

So, I got in touch with Pouncey and interviewed him over the phone on Wednesday. I figured you all should get to know the Falcons’ next first round pick before just ripping the decision to shreds.

Also, you need to know that Pouncey was the first Florida Gator to win the Dave Rimington Trophy, which goes to nation’s top center.

So here you go folks, meet Mr. Pouncey:

LEDBETTER: Did you meet with the Falcons at the combine?

Who should the Falcons pick in the 2010 draft?

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POUNCEY
: Yes.

LEDBETTER: How did it go?

POUNCEY: It went real good. It was kind of formal. They wanted to see me on the (chalk) board (drawing up assignments.) They said I did real good in the individual meetings. They were just talking to me. We know that

In our latest mock draft, the Falcons select Florida center LaShawn Maurkice Pouncey.

In our latest mock draft, the Falcons select Florida center LaShawn Maurkice Pouncey.

they need interior linemen so it’s looking pretty good.

LEDBETTER: How do you think your career went for you at Florida?

POUNCEY: It was so memorable. It went great. I have great memories of the University of Florida. I accomplished so much. Becoming an All-American. Winning the (Dave) Rimington trophy and then the national championship and the SEC championship. It was a great time. I had a great experience.

LEDBETTER: How does your game translate to the NFL?

POUNCEY: I’m definitely an aggressive player. I just want to get on a team with some guys who really care and want to win the Super Bowl. I want to go to the Pro Bowl and all types of good stuff like that, but I definitely want to go to a Super Bowl challenging team.

Former FSU standout Andre Fluellen (96) of Cartersville was a tough assignment for Pouncey. Fluellen plays for the Lions now.

Former FSU standout Andre Fluellen (96) of Cartersville was a tough assignment for Pouncey. Fluellen plays for the Lions now.

LEDBETTER: Is 19 too high to take a center?

POUNCEY: Not at all. I don’t think so. There was a center who went 17th overall. Damien Woody went 17th (to New England in 1999) and Jeff Faine went 21st (to Cleveland in 2003) so it’s very possible.

LEDBETTER: What have you been doing since the combine to stay ready?

POUNCEY: I definitely have been working out. I came back to the University of Florida and I’ve been working out every day. Saturday will be my only day off and I’ll get back to work on Sunday. (Florida’s Pro Day is on Wednesday).

LEDBETTER: What is this whole experience been like for you since the end of the season?

POUNCEY: It’s been great. It was a long process with me deciding to come out and enter the draft, but once it all happened I got straight to work and started getting ready for the combine.

LEDBETTER: Did the competition in the SEC help prepare you for the NFL?

POUNCEY: Most definitely. I know the NFL is a different level, but in college we played against great players. It was a great experience and it was very hard. I feel like I’m ready now, that’s why I made the decision to come out early. I just want to get on a good team.”

LEDBETTER: Who’s the toughest guy you faced in the SEC?

POUNCEY: I’d have to say (Andre) Fluellen (of Cartersville) in my freshman year. He played for Florida State as is with Detroit now. Then (Glenn) Dorsey and (Terrence) Cody, he was real big. Guys like that.

LEDBETTER: Would you like to hear your name called with the 19th pick?

POUNCEY: I would love that.

AJC’s 2010 MOCK DRAFT 3.0

Staff writer D. Orlando Ledbetter projects the first round:

Gerald McCoy could land in the NFC South.

Gerald McCoy could land in the NFC South.

1. St. Louis Rams: Sam Bradford, QB, Oklahoma. St. Louis general manager Billy Devaney, one of the nicest guys in the league, elects to follow the Falcons’ formula and go after the franchise quarterback. Bradford must still overcome concerns about his durability.

2. Detroit Lions: Ndamukong Suh, DT, Nebraska. Suh would solidify the Lions defensive line and get to learn from free agent signee Kyle Vanden Bosch.

3. Tampa Bay Buccaneers: Gerald McCoy, DT, Oklahoma. The Buccaneers have several needs on the defensive side of the ball. They are more than happen to snap up McCoy.

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

Tennessee safety Eric Berry wants to be the top pick in the NFL draft. (D. Orlando Ledbetter/AJC).

Tennessee safety Eric Berry is headed to Kansas City. (D. Orlando Ledbetter/AJC).

5. Kansas City Chiefs: Eric Berry, DB, Tennessee. The Creekside High product slips just a bit this week as he’s a victim of St. Louis – finally – placing a premium on the quarterback position.

6. Seattle Seahawks: Byran Buluga, OT, Iowa. He’s not as athletic as some of the other tackles, but has great pass protecting ability.

7. Cleveland Browns: Joe Haden, CB, Florida. Looks like it could be Jake Delhomme and Seneca Wallace in Cleveland at the quarterback position. They are tempted to go Jim Clausen here, but go with Haden after he runs a faster 40-yard dash at his Pro Day in Gainesville.

8. Oakland Raiders: Trent Williams, OT, Oklahoma. Head coach Tom Cable is a former offensive line coach and Alex Gibbs disciple. He’ll be more than happy to get him a left tackle here.

9. Buffalo Bills: Derrick Morgan, DE, Georgia Tech. Buffalo coach Chan Gailey liked him coming out of high school and he likes him even more coming out of college.

10. Jacksonville Jaguars: Rolando McClain, LB, Alabama. The Jaguars are not scared off by the announcement this week that McClain has Crohn’s disease.

11. Denver Broncos: Dez Bryant, WR, Oklahoma State. The Broncos are not scared by Bryant’s rough upbringing or his character and trust issues in Stillwater.

12. Miami Dolphins: Earl Thomas, FS, Texas. The Dolphins have to go safety after botching the Ryan Clark

Bryan Bulaga, Iowa.

Bryan Bulaga, Iowa.

signing and not going strongly enough after Antrel Rolle.

13. San Francisco 49ers: C.J. Spiller, RB, Clemson. The Atlanta fans hoping that he slips to 19th get their hearts broken here.

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

15. New York Giants: Jason Pierre-Paul, DE, South Florida. The Giants go for Pierre-Paul with the hopes of reviving their pass rush.

16. Tennessee Titans: Brandon Graham, DE, Michigan. His strong play in the postseason and combine showing has him moving up out of the Falcons’ reach.

17. San Francisco 49ers: Anthony Davis, OT, Rutgers. He has top 10 talent, but has some “issues.” He should help the 49ers running game.

18. Pittsburgh Steelers: Sergio Kindle, OLB, Texas. The Steelers go for Kindle with the hope that he can put some of the bite back in their defense.

19. Atlanta Falcons: LaShawn Maurkice Pouncey, C, Florida. The Falcons have interviewed Pouncey and he likes them. Pouncey and his agent have concluded that the Falcons are looking for interior linemen. Why not take the best center in the draft?

Boise State cornerback Kyle Wilson comes up with an interception against Idaho at the Kibbie Dome in Moscow last November. (Joe Jaszewski/The Idaho Statesman)

Boise State cornerback Kyle Wilson comes up with an interception against Idaho at the Kibbie Dome in Moscow last November. (Joe Jaszewski/The Idaho Statesman)

20. Houston Texans: Kyle Wilson, CB, Boise State. The Texans have to get a prospect to replace Dunta Robinson, who signed with the Falcons in free agency.

21. Cincinnati Bengals: Jermaine Gresham, TE, Oklahoma. The Bengals go with the tight end after signing wide receiver Antonio Bryant in free agency. The goal is to put more weapons around quarterback Carson Palmer.

22. New England Patriots: Taylor Mays, S, USC. Mays would help to secure the back-end of the Patriots defense. He loves to come up and hit.

23. Green Bay Packers: Mike Iupati, OT, Idaho. The Packers have to address the porous pass protection that Aaron Rodgers has had to play behind.

24. Philadelphia Eagles: Sean Weatherspoon, LB, Missouri. The Eagles are looking for playmakers on defense.

25. Baltimore Ravens: Arrelious Benn, WR, Illinois. The Ravens go for the young receiver to learn under

California RB Jahvid Best helped himself at the combine.

California RB Jahvid Best helped himself at the combine.

Derrick Mason and Anquan Boldin.

26. Arizona Cardinals: Everson Griffen, DE, USC. The Cardinals start to re-stock their defense that was decimated by free agency losses.

27. Dallas Cowboys: Chad Jones, S, LSU. Dallas has to improve in the secondary.

28. San Diego Chargers: Jahvid Best, RB, California. The Chargers need backfield help after releasing LaDainian Tomlinson.

29. New York Jets: Demaryius Thomas, WR, Georgia Tech. The Jets get another big target for quarterback Mark Sanchez.

30. Minnesota Vikings: Devin McCourty, CB, Rutgers. He is moving up on most boards after turning in a strong showing at the scouting combine.

31. Indianapolis Colts: Brian Price, DT, UCLA. He will be a nice fit for the Colts’ defense.

32. New Orleans Saints: Jerry Hughes, LB, Texas Christian. The Saints have to replace Scott Fujita who signed with Cleveland during free agency.

ON THE FRINGE: Terrence Cody, DT, Alabama; Jonathan Dwyer, RB, Georgia Tech; Ryan Matthews, RB, Fresno State; Jared Odrick, DT, Penn State; Perrish Cox, CB, Oklahoma State; Dan Williams, DT, Tennessee; Charles Brown, OT, USC; Carlos Dunlap, DE, Florida; Golden Tate, WR, Notre Dame; Patrick Robinson, CB, Florida State; Colt McCoy, QB, Texas and Tony Pike, QB, Cincinnati.

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271 comments Add your comment

jkos

March 12th, 2010
5:16 am

Can’t they trade back and still pick Pouncey up? Do we really believe that C/G is the best use of the 19th pick overall?

Marcus

March 12th, 2010
6:18 am

2nd maybe .. :) Man … DOL, is Pouncey gonna have to take out a restraining order on you?…’cause you stalking that man.
LOL.
I hear your logic, but unless TD/Smitty see a lotta miles left on Peterson and the 2nd coming of Strahan/Umenora (sp?) in Biermann and Sidbury …… OLB or DE might be the way, esp. with no 2nd round pick.

Unca' Bob

March 12th, 2010
6:28 am

D-Led,

Pouncey is the #1 OC in this years draft, no questions there. What I would question is draftring him at #19. The highest I have seen him projected is early second round. Kind of a reach to me…Just a thought.

Jack

March 12th, 2010
6:32 am

I have a question on your first round picks,,,,,, where is Joe Cox ???

old Dawg

March 12th, 2010
6:39 am

If I recall youre not too good at your mock drafts, may I add thank GOD

F-105 Thunderchief

March 12th, 2010
6:47 am

Pouncey would be a great get, but probably not at No. 1. And, unless we trade for a second rounder, we won’t get him. We do need to pick up some O-line talent in this draft, though, no doubt.

Marcus

March 12th, 2010
6:49 am

Hey, DOL, since it is early …. lemme run my DE thoughts again:
Get WSH vet DE Andre Carter on the cheap (apparently 1.5 mill base, 3 mill roster bonus); draft Troy’s Brandon Lang on 2nd day and let Carter and Abe teach the young guys for a year or so. Since WSH is going 3-4, and Carter left SF because he despised being a 3-4 LB, he might wave the no-trade clause to come to a potential contender like us. Since he may be the odd man out in their defensive plans, maybe Shanahan and Snyder will take a 2nd day draft position and/or Jamaal Anderson.
If we do this before the draft … maybe I can get with your Pouncey pick ;) the only unknown is whether Brandon Lang or any other suitably talented (but not 1st day) DE prospect will be around. We still need some youth at DE.

old Dawg

March 12th, 2010
6:50 am

no center is worth the 19th pick unless his last name is Otto

old Dawg

March 12th, 2010
6:57 am

Bierman and Sidbury or both very young , they just need time to Devlelop. We dont need younger.Very very few DEs ever play well their first couple of years. Even the great ones. Bierman and Sid both will show marked improvement this year as Beirman did this pass year.

Football Fan

March 12th, 2010
6:58 am

The offense is not a problem. We need a PASS RUSH!!!

Football Fan

March 12th, 2010
7:00 am

Also, Florida plays a spread offense and scouts at the combine said it is very difficult to break down game film of linemen that block for a spread offense. Their game may not translate well to the NFL.

leedawg

March 12th, 2010
7:01 am

I see you still haven’t recovered from being dropped on your head as a child. You don’t take a center in the first round. Please try harder to disguise your man love for this kid.

Gene Okerlund

March 12th, 2010
7:02 am

Dude, the Falcons are not going to take a center with their first pick, unless they have traded out of the 1st round.

Dimitroff is a Pats legacy. Positional value is EVERYTHING to him. If he picks an OL, it will be an OT to move Baker to RT and protect his investment at QB.

I don’t know why you are even doing a mock draft if it is going to be so silly.

Karl

March 12th, 2010
7:08 am

If Weatherspoon is there at 19 I can’t see the Falcons passing on him. Picking a center would be really stupid.

The Real Falcon

March 12th, 2010
7:09 am

I get it, I get it.
But you’re wrong!

Gene Okerlund

March 12th, 2010
7:11 am

Oh, and by the way, did you see that Detroit just signed a defensive tackle?

They are stupid, but seem to be coming around and are finally going to do the right thing and take Russell Okung to protect their billion dollar QB who got pounded all season last year.

Defensive tackles don’t go in the top 5, no matter how good they might be. A couple come to mind….Dan Wilkinson, Russell Maryland, Steve Emtman.

Detroit has finally wised up and will take Okung.

Jeez, you also have Bebe Thomas in the first round? Is this a joke? Dude, please do not embarrass yourself any further and just quit putting up a mock draft. You are worse at this than Todd McShay.

old Dawg

March 12th, 2010
7:14 am

I cant see bierman getting 10 sacks this year went from 3 1st year to 5 second year and the guys motor never quits reminds me of Kerneys first 2 years had 6 sacks after first 2 years then it clicked because he worked his butt off just like Beirman does.

old Dawg

March 12th, 2010
7:15 am

should say can see not cant

Dr. Kenneth Noisewater

March 12th, 2010
7:17 am

pass on pouncey, stick with a DE or LB..go with mock draft 1.0. we can get a decent center in the later rounds.

old Dawg

March 12th, 2010
7:20 am

olb olb olb olb 1st round Spoon, then Norwood 3rd round then ol depth3rd comp pick

old Dawg

March 12th, 2010
7:22 am

Norwood, Lofton, Spoon could be together for 10 years give great linebacker play

old Dawg

March 12th, 2010
7:24 am

4th wr depth 5th from Det and com pick best available def players then fill the rest with positional depth

old Dawg

March 12th, 2010
7:26 am

love the big DT from UNC late cant be moved in run game hes around 340 and super strong

Dan

March 12th, 2010
7:33 am

I still see Atlanta picking LB Weatherspoon to improve that defense and Greg Hardy DE in the 3rd then in the following years to concentrate on the offense line. Todd McClure should be serviceable for one more year and maybe next year we could draft Kris O’Dowd the center out of USC or Stefen Wisniewski out of Penn State both are predicted to be #1 draft picks in 2011.

Actually, old Dawg...

March 12th, 2010
7:37 am

…the only center worth a #1 pick has to be named Rimington…

Jeepers

March 12th, 2010
7:39 am

I like the pick D-Led. The brains in Flowery Branch appear to know what they are doing.. If Jerry and Moore stay healthy and show their potential, our D will move up the rankings this year. I think Sidbury is going to be dominent in another year or two. Go Falcons!!

old Dawg

March 12th, 2010
7:41 am

Greatsest center ever play the Game Jim Otto maybe before your time, is hall of fame Play in Okland with Upshaw and Shell even Dick Butkus said toucghest SOB he ever played agnist.

old Dawg

March 12th, 2010
7:42 am

excuse my my typing errors not the best typist in the world :)

dx107

March 12th, 2010
7:54 am

Don’t take a center with the first pick… OT or OG I can see but it would be foolish to give a center first round money – third or forth round you can pick up the # 2 or # 3 Center can not be that much of a drop – every team has one!

IceFan

March 12th, 2010
7:55 am

. . . . you usually provide pretty good info. But there is no way the Falcons pick him at 19. If they draft OL it will be someone to play left tackle and move Baker to right tackle.

The only two options here (well maybe three if Spiller is there and they just can’t resist) are Weatherspoon or the best OL available at 19.

Weatherspoon would definitely help the already improved D, but if I’m Dimitroff I’m loading up on OL to protect my franchise quarterback and give him time to work. No doubt Pouncey can be a very good center in the NFL, but left tackle is more important and we need to move Baker to right.

John

March 12th, 2010
7:56 am

Dan I like those picks for this year and those centers in 2011 but maybe could get one of those Centers in the 2nd round next year. Would like to see the Falcons offer their #1 for next year to the Broncos for Brandon Marshall

biggerthanbigdawg

March 12th, 2010
8:10 am

Jeff Van Note has a better chance of being picked in the 1st round by Atlanta than Pouncey. I am not taking a shot at LMP’s skilz but the brass tax of the first round is to get the most bang for your buck. It ain’t happpening at center in the first round unless the guy can play C,G & emergency tackle. I believe he can play C & G but not ET. Plus you are not going to tie up 1st round money in a center nowadays anyway due to free agency…what are you going to franchise the center in 4-5 yrs? You are better to address your needs such as this in the middle rounds.

Ree Roe

March 12th, 2010
8:12 am

I don’t understand why Pouncey continues to be picked by you in your mock drafts. He might be the best C & the Falcons do need an interior lineman, but a C with the #19th pick? When we STILL have LB, DE & WR needs? I couldn’t even take the rest of the mock seriously b/c you obviously went out of your way to make this seem like our only choice at #19. TD & Smitty please don’t draft Pouncey at #19

-REEturn of Roe!

Davide

March 12th, 2010
8:12 am

Hi everybody from Rome, Italy
We want Spoooooooooooooooonnnnnnnnnnn!!!!

Gene Okerlund

March 12th, 2010
8:13 am

John, what are you smoking? Do you know how many court dates Brandon Marshall has had in Atlanta? There is no way the Falcons would touch that cancer with a 10′ pole.

Blue Fender

March 12th, 2010
8:14 am

All this rampant speculation is making my nose bleed. Mock drafts are a crock because they usually only get the first few picks right. When you throw in crazy choices (usually from Al in Oakland), the rest of the board gets shuffled. Either way, TD will probably pick the “best available” at 19, whomever that is.

D #!

March 12th, 2010
8:16 am

That might be the worst pick in the history of the Falcons (and there have been a lot of bad ones).

Gene Okerlund

March 12th, 2010
8:17 am

LMAO, I just read the “on the fringe” part of the article. That is rich.

What is Colt McCoy “on the fringe” of, being drafted? Surely you have seen Jon Dwyer’s 40 times, no? He is, maybe, a late 2nd rounder at this point.

Dan Williams is the 3rd rated DT according to most, but he is “on the fringe?”

Wow. Great work.

Doc

March 12th, 2010
8:18 am

ESPN (which knows a he11 of alot more than Ledbetter) shows different folks.

One things for sure. Falcons WON’T draft Pouncey.

John

March 12th, 2010
8:22 am

Gene that would be twice? That would be one not guilty and the other charges were dropped? Not seeing any convictions? Or any time served??

A September 17, 2008 article on CompleteColorado.com stated that the solicitor’s office in Fulton County, Georgia filed misdemeanor battery charges on September 10 for an alleged incident on March 4, 2008, in Atlanta, Georgia. Marshall was booked on March 6, then released the next day after posting a $1,000 cash bond.[63] The case was assigned to Judge John Mather in Georgia state court.[64] On August 14, 2009, a jury in Atlanta found Marshall not guilty.[65]

On March 1, 2009, Marshall was arrested in Atlanta for disorderly conduct after allegedly being involved in a fight with his fiancee, Michi Nogami-Campbell. Marshall was released on a $300 bond.[66] The charges were dropped the following day.[67

Mr. Phil

March 12th, 2010
8:23 am

D. O.L. do you get some kind of kickback for pushing this Pouncey thing? Have the Falcons already told you the pick and are trying to get you to sell us on it? Geez, I smell a conspiracy!

Richham

March 12th, 2010
8:24 am

Again I don’t mind your pick, but at no. 19? If the Falcons are this in love with him, you would have to think they are smart enough to know that he is a late first rounder at best. Trading back in front of a team that you believe has the same need late in the first would make a lot more sense. I think the Falcons are going to draft Kindle, and Suh going to the lions??? They need offensive lineman badly, I would be shocked to see them pass on Russell Okung.

suwaneedawg

March 12th, 2010
8:25 am

I agree with jkos, why not trade back in the first for maybe a 2nd round pick and take Pouncey later in the 1st? I was not high on this pick when you first started your campaign but, it does make some sense. However, only if we can get a solid de or olb in the second or third. Do you think this is possible Orlando?

Glenn

March 12th, 2010
8:30 am

The 49ers took Glen coffee fairly high last year . I just don’t see them getting CJ Spiller at 13 . They have enough holes to fill even with two mid first round picks . Its a sexy pick but not very wise . I still believe Spiller will be there at 19 if the Falcons want . That being said rb’s are a dime a dozen . You can get a good one round three or later .

Falcon fan

March 12th, 2010
8:37 am

I cannot agree with this pick. The Falcons have much more pressing needs than center. They can get a center in a later round. They need to draft the best defensive player available at #19, period!

Baba O'Riley

March 12th, 2010
8:41 am

Why are we now using Pouncey’s full name? Are we going to start calling all players by first, middle, and last name?

Falcon fan

March 12th, 2010
8:41 am

McClure has been a pretty darn good center and what round was he drafted in?

WTF are you thinking??

March 12th, 2010
8:43 am

What’s the point of doing this mock draft, if all you are doing is pissing off the people that read it, hopefully your just taking a shot in the dark, and you don’t have any inside info, and someone isn’t telling you this is what the Falcons are going to do. Why would TD take a second round center with the 19th overall pick of the most talented defensive draft in the last 30 years? We can trade up into the 2nd round to get him, and still use our 19th pick for OLB, or DE, personally I’m sold on “Spoon”. DOL you make me question your sports knowledge and background at times. This is one of those times.

docsbro

March 12th, 2010
8:44 am

Why not MT. Cody?

How nice would it be to PJerry and him solidifying the middle? I have no problem with Pouncey. Agree with olddawg, we will not get an impact DE at #19. I don’t really know if there is an impact DE in this draft. I say we get MT. Cody and control line of scrimmage. It would make DE’s better and free up the LB’s to make tackles.

gman

March 12th, 2010
8:54 am

I just don’t see it DOL. You don’t use a mid 1st round pick on an immediate back up future starter. Maybe 3rd round and beyond but the first 2 rounds are going to be immediate need guys. On top of that we need a Tackle before we need a Center.