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Countdown to draft: Maurkice Pouncey

As part of the online coverage leading up to the NFL draft, The Sun will look at prospects who could be available for the Ravens with the 25th overall pick.

Maurkice Pouncey

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Center, Florida

This would be an extremely sound investment pick for the Ravens. Matt Birk, last year's starting center, turns 34 this summer and will enter his contract year next season. This would be a perfect time to draft Pouncey, who could learn from a Pro Bowl center and then challenge for the starting job in 2011.

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The Ravens might not have the chance to get Pouncey because he could be taken by the Pittsburgh Steelers (No. 18), Green Bay Packers (No. 23) and Philadelphia Eagles (No. 24)

Pouncey is the clear-cut, top-rated center in this draft. He's also the best center prospect in years. There is a major drop-off at this position after Pouncey.

He held his own against two of the best nose tackles in the draft, Tennessee's Dan Williams and Alabama's Terrence Cody. He is an intense competitor and commands respect in the huddle as a leader. There are very few flaws in his game.

One scout told Pro Football Weekly, "Pouncey may be the safest pick in the draft. You don't want to draft a center too highly, but in 10 years you will look back and say that was a great pick wherever you take him."

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