Could use more strength in his base for heavy nose tackles
Summary: It doesn't matter how talented a running back is, if his offensive line can't open some lanes, he won't be effective. Even though teams knew the rushing attack was coming, they couldn't stop Leonard Fournette thanks in part to his offensive line, which had Pocic leading the way in the interior.
Pocic broke into the lineup for LSU as a sophomore in 2014, starting nine games at right guard and three at center. For 2015, he moved to center and helped Fournette to a dominant season. Pocic stayed at center for his senior year and continued his strong play to close out his career. He had a respectable week at the Senior Bowl as well.
In pass protection, Pocic was very reliable. He is good at hitting double teams on tackles and also is smart in his positioning. He also has the athleticism and quickness to help handle interior speed rushers. Adding some strength to his base will help him against the heavy, powerful 3-4 nose tackles of the NFL.
In the ground game, Pocic is an athletic blocker who is very effective at the point of attack. He has natural athleticism and is excellent at hitting blocks on the second level. He also does a quality job of sustaining those blocks and has strong technique with hand placement. While Pocic isn't a true bull as a run blocker, he is effective at opening holes in the ground game. He gives a good effort with his size and length helping to cover up deficiencies.
Pocic is an intelligent technician at the point of attack who should be able to play quickly in his NFL career. He would be a good fit in a zone-blocking system and also could play some guard in that style of offense. In a power-man scheme, however, he should definitely play center. Sources have said that Pocic grades out as a third-round pick and could go on the second day of the 2017 NFL Draft.
Player Comparison: Max Unger. Pocic reminds me of Unger coming out of Oregon. Both are technicians who are intelligent, well-rounded blockers. Unger (6-5, 305) and Pocic are almost identical in size as well, with both players not having overpowering strength at the point of attack. Unger has had a good NFL career for the Seahawks and Saints after being a second-round pick in the 2009 NFL Draft. Pocic could also be a second-day pick.
NFL Matches: Minnesota, Cleveland, Denver, Seattle, Cincinnati and Washington
There are a number of teams that could consider looking to get younger and more talented at center. The Vikings have starting center Joe Berger entering free agency and he is 35. While Berger had a solid year, Minnesota's offensive line was a crushing weakness in 2016. The Vikings could easily look to get younger and more talented up front. They also have two third-round picks, so Pocic could be a good fit for Minnesota.
Cam Erving has been a huge disappointment in Cleveland, and the Browns could move him to guard. Pocic could be a more steady presence in the middle, plus the Browns have a lot of second-day picks to give him consideration.
The Broncos have Matt Paradis entering restricted free agency. They could draft Pocic and play him at guard while giving them an option at center if Paradis isn't signed longer term.
The Seahawks have to improve their offensive line this offseason. If they drafted Pocic to be their center, they could move Justin Britt to guard and improve their line at a couple of spots.
Cincinnati could use an upgrade over Russell Bodine at center, and Pocic could play quickly for the Bengals. The Redskins could give consideration to Pocic following the retirement of Kory Lichtensteiger. If Washington drafts Pocic, the coaches could move Spencer Long back to guard.