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2011 NFL Draft Results: Maurkice Pouncey Pulled For Marcus Gilbert To Be A Steeler

You can bet that Steelers All-Pro center Maurkice Pouncey was pulling for the team to draft at least one of his former fellow offensive linemen from Florida, his twin brother Mike Pouncey, who would have lined up next to Maurkice at right guard if Pittsburgh had called his name in the first round. However, any hopes of reuniting the twins were dashed when the Miami Dolphins selected Mike at pick No. 15. Prior to the draft, rumors circulated, suggesting that Pittsburgh might trade up to snag their second Pouncey two years, but such a move would've been extremely expensive and ultimately deterinmental to their draft.

But Pouncey got a nice consolation prize with the Steelers' second-round selection, Florida tackle Marcus Gilbert, who Pittsburgh nabbed with pick No. 63. Gilbert and Pouncey won a national championship together with the Gators, and apparently Pouncey pulled for the Steelers to not only draft his brother, but to select Gilbert, as well. Offensive line coach Sean Kugler had the following to say about Pouncey's lobbying at a recent press conference following the team's selection of Gilbert: "I'll take [Pouncey's] advice because I respect the kid as a player, and he'll give you the right advice."

Kugler made something out of nothing with his offensive line last year, a unit that was decimated by injuries and characterized by a starting lineup that was constantly in flux. Gilbert gives the team a talented young project at tackle, adding depth for the moment and (hopefully) a quality NFL starter, presumably at right tackle, in the near future. 

Photographs by dizfunk used in background montage under Creative Commons. Thank you.