With the nineteenth pick in the 2011 BGN Mock Draft, immynimmy selects...
Mike Pouncey - C, Florida
After a disappointing campaign last season, the Giants have a few holes to fix. Offensively, the Giants are set for the most part with the Wide Receivers. Hakeem Nicks has turned into a consistent and reliable threat with his hands and strength and Mario Manningham, despite his concentration and focus issues, is a great assets as a number two WR. Steve Smith has solidified himself as one of the best possession receivers in the league, although it is somewhat likely that he may be on his way out of New York. Eli Manning is set as the franchise QB (despite all of our collective opinions on him). The Giants running back situation is somewhat of a quandary. Ahmad Bradshaw posted great numbers but he continues to have a fumbling issues and may also be on his way out leaving inconsistent Brandon Jacobs and his attitude concerns. Without a doubt, the biggest issue offensively for the Giants is their offensive line; all other offensive needs can and probably should be settled in the free agency or the later rounds.
On the other side of the spectrum, defensively, the Giants are set at the defensive line, most likely their greatest strength as a team. The secondary, although 7th in overall defense and 9th in passing defense still gave up a lot of plays throughout the season. Depth should be added in the offseason, but a bright note is that although Corey Webster is 29, the starting secondary is relatively young. The weak spot for the Defense is easily the linebackers. Strongside Linebacker Keith Bullock is like 45 years old (okay, he's 33) and is really only a stop gap. Michael Boley is a pretty good WILL, but he lacks coverage skills. Jonathan Goff has been a disappointment for the most part being caught out of position and not having the greatest size for a Middle Linebacker. They may not be that great individually, but they are a pretty good as a collective unit helping the Giants have the 8th best rush defense in the league.
So after analyzing the Giants roster, it's easy to see that the two positions that should be on their radar in the first round are offensive line and linebacker. With lots of talent in the linebacker pool that will be available in the later rounds (Greg Jones, Martez Wilson, Bruce Carter, Quan Sturdivant , etc.), there is no way the Giants will let a talent like Mike Pouncey slip by them.
Injuries decimated the Giants offensive line last season, not to mention the fact that it is statistically one of the oldest lines in the NFL. Right Tackle Kareem McKenzie (age 31 and age 32 at the start of next season if there is one) started all 16 games. Chris Snee (age 29) also started all 16 games last season but was a shell of his old self. Shaun O'hara (age 33 and age 34 at the start of next season if there is one) started only 6 games and is on the tail end of his career. Rich Seubert started all 16 games as well, but will turn 32 in less than two weeks (March 30th). And finally, David Diehl started 12 games at the age of 30 (will be 31 if at the start of next season if there is one), and was just awful at the LT position. Depth is also another issue that should be addressed this offseason. Guys like Adam Koets, Shawn Andrews (punches wall), Kevin Boothe, Mitch Petrus, and Will Beatty are all serviceable lineman for the most part at this point. Albeit the Giants had the 6th best rushing attack and 8th best in the sacks allowed category, injuries, age, and depth are going to be concern in the future, if it isn't already.
Mike Pouncey (who I will assume will play guard and not center) was a second team All-SEC selection. He started all games he has played in (13 as a center and 28 as a guard, his natural position where he excelled). He helped the Gator interior line dominate in 2008 to an undefeated season and the national championship and in the Sugar Bowl against Cincinnati in 2010. He came in at the combine at 6-5, 320 lbs. Although his pass blocking skills are slightly below par, he excels in run blocking helping the Gators to a 5.6 YPC avg. in 2010. He has sharp technique and great athleticism for a guy his size. He is very strong and has great push in the run game. Even though he isn't vey agile, he makes it to the second level very easily. One thing that most people never seem to talk about with lineman (or really any college player) is penalties; Pouncey is very disciplined and is rarely called for penalties. One of the greatest things about Pouncey is his versatility. He can probably play any of the three positions of the interior line on an NFL caliber team. Another thing about Pouncey is that he is very smart. He is always meeting assignments and mirrors defenders very well. At 6-5 however he as susceptible to being overmatched by stronger bulls rushers on an opponent's defensive line. He has also shown some inconsistency as well as at times being beaten out by quicker pass rushers.
Overall, Pouncey is a great value at the 19th position and a very safe investment. He really doesn't have any major weaknesses and is an elite guard prospect that could most likely start at the NFL level by week 1 and solidify an interior line for years to come.
Next on the clock will be NJEagle with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
Previous Picks: 1 - Nick Fairley 2 - Patrick Peterson 3 - Blaine Gabbert 4 - Cam Newton 5 - Von Miller 6 - Marcell Dareus 7 - Prince Amukamara 8 - A.J. Green 9 - Da'Quan Bowers 10 - Corey Liuget 11 - Robert Quinn 12 - Julio Jones 13 - Tyron Smith 14 - Jimmy Smith 15 - Mark Ingram 16 - Cameron Jordan 17 - Ryan Kerrigan 18 - Anthony Castonzo