Why we shouldn't draft Dontari Poe at #14

Let's just take a look at the numbers.

Let's put a little faith in what the scouts might have to offer.

Then, let's try to determine is he really worth the risk when there are certain blue chippers on the board.

2011 numbers

tallied 33 tackles

18 solo

8 TFL, 3rd on the team in TFL .

1 sack, 3 pass breakups, 5 quarterback hurries and 1 forced fumble.

In 12 games in Conference USA as a starter.

2010 . Ranked fifth on the team in tackles with 41 tackles, and fourth in TFL with 6.5...His TFLs generated losses of 27 yards...Was presented one of the Leadership Awards by the coaching staff at the 2011 Blue-Gray Game...Was voted by the media as the Defensive MVP of the 2011 Blue-Gray Game.

This guy was 2nd team All-Conference USA. This is conference USA we're talking about, not the SEC. Tallied a career-high eight tackles in two separate contests throughout his career (Marshall-2011 and UT Martin-2009). Who is UT Martin? They are the SkyHawks of the Volunteer States University system of the Ohio Valley Conference. That is as a Fresham, so he definitely got off to a quick start. Marshall is probably reasonable competition and lets not throw that out, but lets also remember the level of competition he is playing at.

From CBS Draft analysis

- He has been able to get by at this level with just his physical skill-set and has made meager improvements to his technique in three seasons.

This is a long time. We know he likes the weight room and it says he likes to stay on the field, but what's he working on out there? Meager improvement and spending alot of time on the field suggests he is a great work out buddy, but is he out there working with Offensive line men and Defensive peers?

This is from his coach Mike DuBose who won an SEC title with 'Bama in '99 - DuBose says Poe often over-thinks what he is doing rather than just doing it and needs to just rely on his abilities more. That probably accounts for the reason Poe doesn't always explode off the line.

02/28/2012 - I spoke to a veteran O-line coach who faced Poe several times during his college career. His take: "He's probably the best talent I've seen in several years. He took plays off and wasn't a great effort guy, but he is a freakish talent." But don't all 320-plus pound D-linemen take some plays off? "Yeah," said the coach, "but he took off more than most. He did get better last year than he was the year before. He just was never that productive, but I heard they didn't require him to do that much. He was definitely someone I took into account with schemes. ... I'm not at all surprised to hear that he's blowing up at the combine at all. He was never on the ground in college." That last detail may actually be just impressive as the speed Poe displayed Monday, because as the O-line coach said, it shows the guy's great balance. "It's the first thing I look at in recruiting linemen. "He has definite first-round talent." - Bruce Feldman, CBS Sports

From the New York Times Draft analyst Jonathan Bales

-You would think Poe would be nothing but a power player in the middle of the field, but that isn’t true. While he has the ability to destroy smaller interior linemen, he doesn’t always do it. At times, Poe seems to brace for impact before being blocked. He doesn’t garner consistent pressure against either the run or pass, which isn’t a good sign. Other times, however, he blows through blockers and cannot be stopped. He’s an inconsistent player with the potential for dominating play.

What surprised me most when watching Poe is that he has a bit of a finesse aspect to his game. He’s very nimble and can maneuver his body well to make it difficult for linemen to block him. He actually side-steps blockers better than he bull-rushes them. N.F.L. defensive coordinators who watch Poe must be drooling over the potential he has to use his athleticism if he can more appropriately use his bull rush.

From Jonathan Bales -I wouldn’t draft Poe in the first round. Early draft selections should be reserved for safe players with high floors. Poe’s ceiling is very high, but it comes as the cost of a very low floor. Nonetheless, some team with one of the first 32 selections will probably fall in love with Poe’s athleticism and upside.

Poe will need to work on his conditioning if he wants to contribute on every down

I watched the tape on him Memphis v. Arkansas State. He looks like he can have a hard time shedding blocks. He did command some double teams. He was very effectively blocked by a full back. But, if you can stomach watching the game for 22 minutes by all means give me your own take.

From NFL Draft monsters-Intangibles: I’m not sure how hard a worker Poe is, or what his football IQ is, but he flashed the ability to sniff out screens in the games that I watched of him. However, there seemed to be a number of times that he did not maintain his gap responsibility when he tried to beat the offensive guard off of their outside shoulder. He’s oftentimes lined up at nose tackle, which often resulted in him leaving the A gap and making it easy for blockers to seal him out of the play. This is something that will take a while to evaluate, but right now I’m not that impressed with his intangibles especially because he seems to have some issues regarding conditioning. Right now I have a 3rd round grade on Poe. I thought about grading him as a round four guy, but his size, strength and burst off of the line of scrimmage is just too rare that I don’t think he would slide that far. Too many people are projecting him as a 3-4 NT right now in my opinion because his game is predicated on penetration and disruption in the backfield, not on standing up to double teams and allowing linebackers to fill and make plays. He has a long way to go as a prospect, but his upside is undeniable.

Memphis Profile



CBS Draft analysis

At the end of the day this dude is a gamble. I'm all about taking gambles in later rounds and if the Cowboys pick this guy, then I'll be rooting for him to be a success. But, something is fishy here. His upside is amazing, but is he going to fit with this team? I don't know. I think its cool that he likes Casey Hampton and thinks of that dude as a role model, but that doesn't make him a good fit for the Cowboys. What is Rob Ryan's scheme and how are we using the Nose Tackle position. Does this guy have a desire to play defensive end? Because that is what it sounds like. He seems like a me first type guy. Not someone who is going to give 100% effort no matter what he is asked to do. In Rob Ryan's scheme we need a Nose Tackle that is going to soak up double teams, maintain his gap assignment, and do some of the less glamorous work that allows Sean Lee and Bruce Carter to make plays.

I take Poe only if Melvin Ingram is gone, DeCastro is gone, Morris Claiborne is gone, Keuchley is gone, Fletcher Cox, is gone, Dre Kirkpatrick is gone. I might even take Devon Still over him.

All these dudes are gambles, I think Poe is the biggest gamble of all of them.

Another user-created commentary provided by a BTB reader.

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