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2011 NFL Mock Draft: Mike Pouncey To Seattle As A Guard, Says He Wants To Play Center

We’ve seen Mike Pouncey projected as the Seattle Seahawks pick in plenty of 2011 NFL mock drafts, but each has him tabbed as a guard. Speaking to the media at the NFL combine on Friday, Pouncey threw a wrench in those plans, saying he’s preparing to play center in the NFL. The revelation, while just his personal preference, alters Pouncey’s draft stock and, perhaps, may alter the teams interested in his services.

Before Pouncey informed the media of his preference, the sentiment was that the Florida offensive lineman could pair with Russell Okung on the left side of the Seahawks’ line, perhaps giving them the kind of dominance they had when Walter Jones and Steve Hutchinson were anchoring the line in the early-mid 2000s. CBS Sports’ Rob Rang was one of the analysts projecting Pouncey to the Seahawks.

Should one of the upper-echelon quarterbacks fall to Seattle at this spot, the Seahawks would be wise to think about their future. Rather than panic if they aren’t however, the team can address its weakest link – interior offensive line play. Pouncey’s size, strength and agility would make him an immediate upgrade.

As of now, Chris Spencer is holding down the center spot in Seattle, and questions still remain about Pouncey’s ability to play the position. During the 2010 season, Pouncey’s ability to snap the ball, especially in the shotgun, was much maligned by Gator fans. Though it was his first year playing the position, it’s always been thought that he projects as a guard at the NFL level.

Does it matter where Pouncey wants to play? In reality, it doesn’t. Some team will draft him in the first round, pay him a good amount of money and tell him where to play. But if he thinks he’s a center, and wants to put up a fight about it, there may be a rift, and it may cause teams to shy away.

We’ll keep an eye on Pouncey’s performance at the 2011 NFL Combine as scouts try to get a read on him. For the latest on the draft, check out our 2011 NFL mock draft StoryStream.