The criticisms I hear most often of the Dolphins first round choice of Mike Pouncey is two-fold:
The first criticism is Pouncey is a guard -- just a guard. The second one is that Pouncey, when given the chance to play center, was terrible with the shotgun snap.
Let me make something perfectly clear. The Dolphins picked Pouncey to be a center. If he turns out to be a guard, he will have failed in meeting the expectations the Dolphins had for him. And the Dolphins will have failed in their vision for Pouncey because guards at No. 15 better be Pro Bowl types rather than merely starters.
Let me make something else clear. After speaking to two scouts and a coaching source on the college level, I was convinced by them that Pouncey is a center and will be a good one. Moreover, I was told not to fret too much over the shotgun snap problem Pouncey had early in the 2010 season.
"It was his first season starting at center, they probably didn't work on it live in practice as much as they should have, and once they identified it as a problem, it took him just a couple of weeks to resolve it," the college source told me. "Pouncey will be a center, and a good one. Don't get caught up in the comparisons with his brother. He'll be good in his own right."
So next time you hear someone say the Dolphins wasted their first round pick or didn't get value because Pouncey is not a center, do not remain silent. He is a center until further notice. And if someone says the shotgun snaps in college is a concern, you know the facts. He struggled early but addressed the issue.
By the way, it was interesting to me that the ESPN Sports Science video below (I love this series) has Pouncey at center. And he's snapping shotgun. And he snaps correctly 30 of 30 times.
There's something else that caught my eye in the video. Pouncey was put under some duress. And he seemed to like it. "I definitely best under pressure," he said, "and I love being under pressure."