A once-a-day look at a draft prospect that either has been targeted for the Patriots in a mock draft, has had a private workout for New England or has made an official visit to Gillette Stadium. In the end, mocks are good for discussion and workouts and interviews could be a smokescreen or a sign of real interest, but these are players who make sense as being on the Pats’ radar for the upcoming draft.
Name: Mike Pouncey, G/C, Florida
Height, weight: 6-5, 303 pounds
Hometown: Lakeland, Fla. (Lakeland HS)
Senior year stats: 13 games (13 starts); best player on unit that paved way for four 300-yard rushing games by Gators
Career stats: 54 games (41 starts); began career at defensive line as true freshman, starting on unit by end of year and switched back to offensive line as starter, making 28 starts at right guard. Took over at center as senior, after twin Maurkice (now with Steelers) left
Honors: 2010 – second-team All-SEC (Associated Press); 2009 – first-team All-SEC (coaches, AP)
Combine: 40 dash – 5.28s; vertical – 25 in.; broad jump – 8-0; 3-cone – 7.66s
Why he’s a fit for the Pats: While Pouncey anchored the middle of the Gators’ line as a senior, scouts believe he’s best suited as a guard in the NFL. With Logan Mankins unhappy and Stephen Neal retired, the Patriots certainly have a need at the position. Pouncey plays with a wide base, has good lower-body strength, is big and physical, and (importantly for Bill Belichick) has a real passion for the game. He also played for FoB (that’s Friend of Belichick) Urban Meyer at Florida.