Dontari Poe, Junior, Defensive Tackle, Memphis
The story with Dontari Poe coming into this year’s draft seems to be awfully back and forth. Some numbers blow you away, namely his size. He measures in at six feet, five inches above the earth, weighing a robust 350 pounds. Other numbers, like his production on the field, may leave something to be desired. He recorded just a lone sack and eight tackles for loss. His 33 tackles are okay depending on how you look at it.
Was Poe being double-teamed most of the time coming from the defensive tackle position? Without a doubt, making his numbers a little more impressive than first thought. Aiding this logic is the fact that he is an NFL talent playing on a Memphis team who, frankly, lacks NFL talent. Teams would have been silly not to double him. But was he not also going against Conference USA offensive linemen, men not quite on the upper echelon of their respective craft? Which is a more important distinction of his abilities is in the eye of the beholder.
Whether it is as a nose tackle in a 3-4 alignment or an imposing DT in a 4-3, teams will be interested in Dontari Poe’s size and strength up front. Teams are often leery about selecting non-BCS conference players who don’t overly destroy their competition, which could cause Poe’s stock to drop some. But he has a chance to make up for that with a strong combine showing and get himself into the second or third round.
Poe had a strong NFL Combine showing, but it did not just catapult him to third round consideration, or even second round consideration. After showing off an amazing athletic ability for a man his size and proving to be surprisingly fast and mobile, Poe is being considered as a possible first rounder. Now that NFL teams are going back and watching more tape on Poe they will see his lack of production at Memphis and that should creep Poe back to the later part of the first round or the early second round by April.