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NFL Miami Dolphins

The Top 20 Miami Dolphins of 2013: No. 13 Mike Pouncey

Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

The Miami Dolphins filled their offensive coordinator vacancy on Wednesday morning with the hire of Bill Lazor and the team is also expected to name a new GM within the next week or so. As we wait to see which candidate gets the nod, let’s continue our look back on the season that was by ranking the team’s top 20 players of 2013. Today, we’ll look at player No. 13, center Mike Pouncey.

2013 statistics

Games started: 14

Pro Football Focus breakdown

Position rank: 13 of 35
Pass block: 1 of 35
Run block rank: 21 of 35
Snaps played: 908
Sacks allowed: 2
QB hits allowed: 3
Hurries allowed: 9

Why he’s No. 13

There’s no question that Pouncey was the Dolphins’ best offensive lineman in 2013. Although that is not saying much considering it was statistically the worst starting line in franchise history, he was still a bright spot on an otherwise gloomy unit. No center in the entire league produced a better pass-protection grade than Pouncey according to Pro Football Focus. Although he didn’t consistently excel as a run blocker, he was able to get into the second line of defense on occasion where he is as good as anybody. Pouncey should also be commended for playing through a painful gallbladder issue down the stretch of the season. Oh yeah, he was also named to his first Pro Bowl.

Why he’s not higher

Pouncey may have been one of the best pass-blocking centers in football, but the ability to provide consistent push up front as a run blocker is the most important attribute a center can have. The former Florida Gator struggled to win battles in the trenches when attempting to pave the way for Lamar Miller and Daniel Thomas in 2013, which was a bit curious considering he’s graded so well as a run blocker in the past. There’s no doubt that Pouncey was held back by his counterparts, but regardless, 2013 was a down year for him despite his first Pro Bowl berth. With better health, there’s good reason to believe Pouncey will return to his old form next season.

Cody Strahm is a Miami Dolphins contributor for Rant Sports. Follow him on Twitter @CodyJStrahm.

Related:
The Top 20 Miami Dolphins of 2013: No. 14
The Top 20 Miami Dolphins of 2013: No. 15