The Steelers used their first round draft pick on Florida center Maurkice Pouncey. Pouncey was the 18th player taken and becomes the first center drafted by the Steelers in the first round since 1941.
Pouncey is 6-4 1/2 306 pounds, and logged 39 starts playing for a major college program in a tough conference. As regular readers know, Steel Curtain Rising is written out of Buenos Aires, Argentina, where not surprisingly few college games are broadcast.
Therefore I can offer little in the way of qualitative assessment.
However, the Steelers most urgent need going into the draft was at offensive line, and they potentially killed two birds with one stone with this move.
It has been widely speculated that should the Steelers draft Pouncey, they would allow him to serve a one-year apprenticeship a guard before transitioning him over to center. If that sounds familiar, it should, because this is exactly what they did with Dermonti Dawson after taking him in the second round of the 1988 draft.
That move paid handsome dividends, as Dawson went on to have a Hall of Fame career.
While the hope is that Pouncey will follow suit, the move could help the team right away, Trai Essex play a guard was adequate at best.
Bragging Rights for Bouchette
Hat’s off to the Post Gazette’s Ed Bouchette, who called this pick correctly. Post-Gazette Gerry Dulac picked up on the Steelers interest in Pouncey early on, indicating that he was a probable first round selection for Pittsburgh at the NFL scouting combine.