How good will Mike Pouncey be in 2016?


Miami Dolphins center Mike Pouncey has made the Pro-Bowl. Several times. He is close to becoming an elite center in the NFL. He has also played on some of the worst lines in the league.

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On paper, this years Miami Dolphins offensive line should be head and shoulders above the lines the team has employed since 2011 when Pouncey was drafted.

The Dolphins have had good players but for whatever reason they either came to Miami in the twilight of their careers or ended up suspended (Richie Incognito). To say the least, Pouncey paired with Incognito was his best line.

In the last two seasons Pouncey has lined up next to Dallas Thomas and Billy Turner he has had a rookie right tackle in Ja’Wuan James and then he watched James miss half of 2015 with an injury. Branden Albert on the left side but he too has been injured.

Pouncey has actually been the best guard Miami has had since his arrival to play center when he moved to guard after returning from an off-season injury thus allowing Samson Satele to hold the center job for the season.

This year it might be different. Laremy Tunsil is expected to be a huge improvement at the left guard spot between Pouncey and Albert. James will be back at right tackle which leaves the competition for the right guard spot open.

The battle for the guard spot should be a good one. Most believe that it will be between Dallas Thomas and Billy Turner but Jamil Douglas will have a year under his belt and better coaching. While the Dolphins didn’t make a big splash in free agency at the position they brought in guys to compete.

Kraig Urbik has seven NFL seasons under his belt and can play both guard and center and while Ulrick John is listed as a tackle he too may compete for playing time at guard.

Laremy Tunsil is of course the key. If Tunsil performs as expected pressure on Pouncey from the left side should be minimal allowing him to focus more of his attention to the troublesome right side.

The only question is if this line becomes the best since Pouncey’s arrival, how good can Pouncey become? For most of his years in Miami, Pouncey has had to pick up the slack from the players around him who couldn’t do their job. It will be interesting to see what Pouncey can do if those positions can start pulling their weight.