So as I perused the comments to this draft post, I wondered to myself, who is this Maurkice Pouncey? And why did his parents put a "k" in his name?
Well, I looked him up on The National Football Post because I really don't know where to go for intelligent scouting reports on college athletes and they at least had some rating system. Well, I got no help on the "k" issue but here's what they say about Pouncey's football ability:
One of the best centers to come along in years, Pouncey's combination of size, power and athleticism will likely make him one of the top players at his position in the NFL for years to come.
They have Pouncey rated as a 7.5, which the site informs me means:
Becomes a starter in his rookie season…a prospect who possesses physical attributes that will create mismatches and have an obvious impact on the game…will become a premier player in the league.
The only other players to get a 7.5 ranking in this draft? Suh, McCoy and Eric Berry. Extraordinary company. The only higher grade they give is an 8.0 which is reserved for players who will "instantly become one of the best players at their position." They don't give that out too often. Only once every few years I guess.
Iupati gets a very, very respectable 7 (their 3rd highest rating).
The point is this "Maurkice Pouncey" guy is apparently good. I don't hear too much chatter about him. Maybe because I don't read/watch a lot of draft coverage. Regardless, I am going on the record as saying I would very much like him if possible, particularly instead of a freaking TE or WR (more on WR later).
Now, before you get all uppity and talk to me about Kyle Cook being the center of the future, Pouncey is listed as a Center/Guard prospect so he need not be Center. But allow me several more points too. First, though he played well, the jury is still out on Cook. Second, Cook's position in college was actually guard. Third, if Pouncey can handle Center it shouldn't be too much to ask for him to play guard. Fourth, it would be nice to have a Steinbach-like guy again, who could play center well in the event of injury to Cook. The point is he fits the bill for offensive line help as much if not more so than Iupati. Those two are my preferred draft picks.
A nasty pass rusher would be third. But I don't know much about prospects at that position. Brandon Graham I hear would be serviceable.
First, Doc points to a mock draft (after mocking mock drafts) by some dude name Gosselin who apparently is better at these things than other people. He has the Bengals taking Pouncey. Sweet.
Second, he also uses a Peter King stat to make the point we don't need to take a WR with our first couple picks to get a great receiver. He notes:
Over the past five seasons, there have been 26 different wide receivers who registered at least 70 catches and eight or more touchdowns in the same season. Ten of those players originally entered the NFL in the third round or after, with seven in the sixth round or later.
That sounds cool at first, but is basically meaningless when you think about it. Why?
Note that many more receivers are picked after the 2nd round in total than in the first two rounds combined, yet those WR still yield only about a 1/3 of the top statistical receivers (10 of 26 total to go for 70+ catches & 8+ TD in the past 5 years). While I agree with Doc we don't need to draft a WR high (because our window to win is now, and WRs don't traditionally help in their first year), this little anecdote just goes to prove you are much more likely to get a better receiver higher in the draft.
Higher draft picks more likely to have success? Shocking, I know. Anyway, that's what you get for relying on the remarkably-pointless-for-how-popular-it-is weekly column by Peter King.