INDIANAPOLIS -- University of Florida center/guard Mike Pouncey is hoping for one thing during the NFL Draft. Regardless of the team selecting him, he hopes it's within the first 17 picks.
The reason? If he's drafted lower than 18, his brother -- Steelers center Maurkice Pouncey -- will never let him hear the end of it. Maurkice Pouncey went 18th overall in 2010.
Perhaps the Patriots, given the chance, would oblige at No. 17.
The team has potential big question marks at interior offensive line and the 6-foot-5, 303-pound Pouncey could fill multiple needs. It's possible he could fill a more immediate need at guard, while potentially being groomed as a center of the future (Dan Koppen enters the final year of his contract).
To play center in New England, mastering the shotgun snap is crucial. That's a Koppen speciality, and an area that Pouncey feels he's improving since his opening game at the position last season.
"I'm fluent with it now, confident with it," said Pouncey, whose preference is to play center in the NFL. "To this day, I'll never take it for granted again."
As for comparisons to his brother, Pouncey was asked what NFL teams have told him.
"They basically said we look the same on film," he relayed. "Some of the teams said I even look better."