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?
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
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.
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.
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.
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
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?
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
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.