Maurkice Pouncey has a huge list of accomplishments, but could the Pittsburgh Steelers center be one of the most overrated players of the 2000s?
There’s no doubt this article is going to be received with some backlash. But for those fans who want to stick around and see where this goes, I encourage you to do so. Though Maurkice Pouncey is regarded by many to be one of the best interior offensive linemen of the NFL during the 2000s, I would argue that the Pittsburgh Steelers center is arguably the most overrated player we’ve had in the past twenty years.
Let’s start with his accomplishments. In 9 NFL seasons, Pouncey has been selected to 8 Pro Bowls and has earned All-Pro honors twice in his career. These are fantastic feats that most NFL players only dream of accomplishing. But was he really deserving of all of these honors?
According to Pro Football Focus, Pouncey graded out as the 34th out of 35 qualifying centers in NFL this year with an overall grade of just 51.5. Not only was he among the worst in the league at his position last year, but he also graded out as one of the worst staters on the Steelers in 2019 – even below players like Ryan Switzer and Mason Rudolph.
Remarkably, Pouncey (albeit underserving) still made the Pro Bowl last season. However, it’s important to remember that Pro Bowl nominations are not at all an accurate depiction of which players are best in the NFL, as it is a fan-voted honor. Just because thousands of Steelers fans came out and voted for Pouncey to fly out to Orlando for the 2019 Pro Bowl doesn’t make him the best player in the league at his position.
In fact, there have been multiple Pro Bowl honors of which Pouncey has not been deserving. After nearly a decade in the NFL, Pouncey has never earned a grade higher than 78.1 overall. In comparison, 3 centers graded out better last year alone than Pouncey ever has in his career. Pouncey graded out below average in 2010, 2011, and 2019, yet managed to make the Pro Bowl in all three of those seasons. In the other five years in which he made the Pro Bowl, he never graded out as more than an above-average player.
If you don’t trust Pro Football Focus, that’s fine. But if you’re still doubting me on this, I encourage you to get NFL Game Pass and go watch the all-22 film of Pouncey last year. You’ll quickly come to grips with what I’m talking about.
Pouncey has been a solid player for most of his career and was still an excellent draft choice back in 2010. And though his lofty resume is bordering on Hall of Fame status, I thoroughly believe he is one of the most overrated Steelers of the 2000s.