As this is my first post, I thought a little bit of introduction might be in order. As you might have guessed from my ‘handle’, I’m a Brit. Sad to say, I’ve never been within 100 miles of Dallas, but my obsession started with the first game I ever watched (around 1983), which was the Cowboys v Redskins. I’ve been lurking around the BTB site for about a year, mostly because I love analysis, and this site seemed to do it the best. I’m actually a researcher at Imperial College in London, so analysis is part of the day job. Which brings us to the purpose of this post, Dontari Poe and hopefully a bit of comparative analysis.
I realise I have been spending far too much time thinking about the Cowboy draft plans over the last few weeks, and one of the few things I am sure about is that Dontari Poe makes me very, very, very nervous. We all know the drill – great workout, average tape blah, blah. So I wondered if there were any similar ‘workout warriors’ to enter the draft in recent years and whether that might give me some reassurance – one way or the other.
My starting point was simply to look at players over 300 pounds who could bench press over 40 reps. The first thing that jumps out at you is that 40 reps + is an extraordinarily uncommon event. A number of names cropped up, and in each case, the players were 30 odd pounds lighter than Poe, with largely similar combine performances (won’t bore you with all the stats). Marvin Austin, Jeffrey Owens, Scott Young – these were some of the players that are broadly comparable to Poe from a ‘workout’ point of view. It’s fair to say, that this wasn’t making me feel any better.
However, there was one name that did interest me. Broderick Bunkly. Do you believe in coincidence? He was chosen as the 14th pick in the 2006 draft by the Philadelphia Eagles.
Here comes the comparative bit (Poe’s measurables will come first);
Weight: 346lb vs 306lb
Bench: 44 vs 44
40yd: 4.98 vs 5.01
20yd ss: 4.56 vs 4.16
3 cone: 7.9 vs 7.33
Vertical: 29.5 vs 32.5
Broad: 105 vs 113
What about college production?
Poe (Memphis) – 35 games (30 starts), 101 tackles, 21.5 TFL, 5 sacks
Bunkley (Florida State) – 44 (22), 129, 37 TFL, 11.5 sacks
However, most of Bunkley’s production came during his final year, whereas Poe has no ‘senior’ numbers.
I tried to guage how good Bunkley has been in the NFL. Comparing him to Jay Ratcliff, over the last three years, they are roughly comparable in terms of tackles, but Bunkley almost never gets to the quarterback.
So how do you feel about Poe now? Is it worth spending a first round pick on a poor man’s Jay Ratcliff, whose sole role will be to occupy some space? Or does the addition of 40lb make Poe into an elite prospect? The tape seems to suggest not – which is why I will continue to wake up at night screaming, ‘Not Poe, not Poe’.