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NFL Network Path to the Draft: First Draft Dontari Poe

Someone on a thread yesterday asked me to give a breakdown of what they said about Poe as a prospect, so here it is. I don't know the guys' names except Lombardi who provides the counterpoint. So I'm just gonna refer to them as Point 1, Point 2, and Counterpoint. Later Lombardi and Baldinger have a 1 on 1 discussion regarding Poe. Two commentators commented on his red flag as far as lack of production. Only 1 sack his senior season, and only 32 tackles his senior season. Point 1: "Is he gonna give you production? Or did he just test really well at the combine?" Point 2: "I agree, he played at a terrible school, in a terrible conference, and you come up with 1 sack and 32 tackles? With his physical gifts he should have been a guy that dominated and simply didn't." Counterpoint Lombardi: "You don't find production on the tape, but you have to look beyond the production on the tape. College football has changed so much in terms of d lineman using their hands with technique. Coaches only have twenty hours a season to spend to teach their player technique. You bring him in your program, and basically redshirt him the first season. But if Poe has the toughness and dedication to become a better player, then he's not a redflag pick. That's a decision a team has to make when they select him. Strictly by production you don't pick him, but I think the talent is something you can't ignore. The reason the Eagles selected Brandon Graham over Jason Pierre Paul is because he had better tape, & now who's the better player?" Here is the 1 on 1 conversation between Baldinger and Lombardi during what they call their First Draft on Poe. Baldinger: "Potential is just a French word for wait and see. You don't know what you're gonna get. If you watch the tape, you would think he could dominate the line. If you watch him against Mississippi state, an SEC team, he got handled and pushed to the ground, and didn't find the ball, now that's the SEC. If you watch him against teams in his division, you would think he would dominate when sniffing out screens, he didn't do that. A team will take him because of his size and speed; but just because you run fast and are big doesn't mean you play big or play fast. Marcel Dareus last year dominated the SEC by playing big and fast. He got sacks in the SEC and for Buffalo. Maybe NFL coaching can light a fire under Poe and teach him how to do those things." Lombardi: When you watch the tape, I agree. (He then rattles off numerous players that had the size and speed with little production in college that went on to succesful NFL careers). You have to ask yourself if your a GM, does he have the work ethic, will he show the commitment, the toughness, and the character to get better? He's like a junior college prospect. We realize he's a work in progress, you're going to have to redshirt him and develop him. What you're banking on is his size and speed. But you have to find out if he is tough enough to play in the trenches in the NFL." Baldinger: "I don't see the explosion or power that Eric Swan had to be able to forklift the interior lineman and move them into the quarterback's lap. Look, the potential is there. If you say redshirt him... Look, they're gonna play him because of where he's going to be drafted and they're gonna expect immediate results, and because of that, sometimes these kids can go into a shell from expectations to produce instantly at the next level. So coaching is going to be the most important thing for this kid at the next level." Thoughts?

Another user-created commentary provided by a BTB reader.

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