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NFL Draft 2012: Dontari Poe Is Talk Of NFL Combine For Many Teams

In the world of the NFL Combine, it helps if you can hold some extreme title as your own. Whether you’re the biggest, the strongest or the fastest, it helps to stand out in some way. That might even mean having the longest jump, the highest jump, the crispest routes, the best arm or being the most charismatic in the room. The rule seems to be “just stand out.” When it comes to Dontari Poe, it’s clear the defensive tackle obeyed just that for a number of reasons.

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Poe’s size and strength has been called “freakish” by a number of sportswriters and for good reason — it’s hard to categorize exactly what you see in a combination like the Memphis product. Len Pasquarelli writes:

Without question one of the prospects who generated the most buzz at the scouting combine, Poe exhibited such freakish skills that it doesn’t seem to matter now what kind of front is utilized as a “base” defense by the team that selects him. The massive Poe (6-feet-3 1/2, 346 pounds), who registered 44 repetitions in the bench press and clocked a 4.98 time in the 40, demonstrated abilities that translate to the 3-4, for sure, but also displayed that he can clearly play in a 4-3.

Bob Gretz wrote after the NFL Combine that he loved two players more than anyone and his one defensive target in the draft would be Poe:

The other guy I just have to have is on defense: Memphis NT Dontari Poe. Everything about this young man is big. He’s 6-4, 346 pounds, one of the heaviest players at the Combine. His thighs are thick, his calves are thick, and his shoulders are broad. Still, with 346 pounds, he ran the 40-yard dash in 4.98 seconds. That’s remarkable. And he was able to get those 346 pounds 29.5 inches off the ground in the vertical jump.

The Chiefs have a great need at nose tackle as the anchor of their 3-4 defense with the possible retirement of Kelly Gregg and the lack of any other experienced linemen who can handle that consistently. Amon Gordon can certainly play a part. Others will move inside on occasion, but to have Poe in the middle would help tremendously.