Film Assessment: Memphis DT Dontari Poe

I make no claim to be a Mike Mayock level film evaluator. However with the Cowboys being recently linked to such an intriguing and polarizing prospect as Memphis DT Dontari Poe, I sat down yesterday and watched about 30 minutes of film on the Memphis defense. I watched Memphis vs. Arkansas State, and Memphis vs. Tulane. Now those might have been Poe's best 2 games, or his worst two games, but I'm not the one with a job on the line selecting this kid, so that's as far as I'm going. Here's what I saw in the two tapes.

The first thing we need to understand is that Poe played 3-4 DE, and 4-3 DT at Memphis. A lot of people don't know that, and assume because of his size that he played over the center.

I think the kid was misused. Far too often you see Poe lining up as the 5 technique, then leaping outside and trying to beat the OT around the corner. Schematically I'm not quite sure why you use that guy in that fashion, because he's clearly not very good at it. What he did appear to be good at on film is going straight forward. When asked, he pushed double teams into the backfield with ease. And when he decides to drop his anchor versus the run, he is not moving. Im just not sure why he wasn't used in that manner more often.

His instincts aren't great. I did see him get confused in traffic a few times and lose sight of the ball carrier. He does play a bit higher than you would like at times.

All of the talk about his motor is unwarranted. That's lazy analysis, and an easy assumption to make when talking about a guy that size. You don't see him taking plays off, and a few times you even see him get in on tackles well out of his area.

If you are looking at Poe as a potential Cowboy, you have to first think about how the Cowboys may want to use him. If you want him to play the 5, and be a disruptive, gap-knifing penetrator, you are far better off with Fletcher Cox, or Michael Brockers. But if you want someone to occupy 2 gaps, this guy will wipe out all run action guard to guard, and free up the ends to make plays. If you want someone to put the center on roller skates and knock him through the running back and into the QB like a row of dominoes, there is nobody better. The guy understands leverage, and is freakishly powerful with a decent get off. He is good at moving people and not getting moved.

It's just one of those things where you have to trust the coaching staff in seeing what they want in a player, knowing how they can make that player succeed in this scheme, and knowing if his flaws can be cured by coaching.

Depending on who is on the board, Poe at #14 (I'd prefer him 6-8 picks later with and extra 3rd in our pocket) to our 'Boys wouldn't break my heart. If we take him, expect the entire front 7 to be more effective, just don't expect Poe's contribution to show up much in the box score.

P.S..... I NEVER want to see his spin move again. EVER.

Another user-created commentary provided by a BTB reader.

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