Wednesday, March 28, 2012
Draft preview series: Memphis DT Dontari Poe
By Bryan Broaddus and Tim MacMahon
The 14th installment of our draft preview series focuses on Memphis defensive tackle Dontari Poe.
Scouts Inc. ranks: No. 1 defensive tackle, No. 11 overall
Bio: Star of the scouting combine was a second-team All-Conference USA selection as a junior last season. Poe played 35 games at Memphis, including 30 starts, and finished his college career with 101 tackles (21.5 for losses) and five sacks.
Memphis' Dontari Poe is the top-rated defensive tackle in the draft and was the star of the scouting combine.
Broaddus Breakdown (viewed Mississippi State, Central Florida and SMU games): Usually lined up at defensive tackle for the Tigers, but also played some defensive end when they went to a three-man line. … Plays with some initial quickness off the snap but tends to catch more blocks than play with his hands. Surprises me that he is as powerful as he is, but he just doesn’t use his hands as well as he needs to. If he really knew how to use his hands, he would be a more dominant player. … Can be a hard man to move at the point of attack because of his upper- and lower-body strength. … Have seen him take on double-team blocks and split them. Is a tough player to block when he is on the move. If he can get a head of steam coming down inside, he has too much power to slow down. When he attacks the gap, he can get some push and get up the field. … Best pass-rush moves are when he can go arm over or arm under. Those are his go-to moves, but on the majority of his pass rushes he tries to just use power and strength and bull-rush his man. Again, the fact that he doesn’t use his hands to control blockers really hurts him here. … For a large man, he shows some good change of direction. Will work down the line of scrimmage to make a tackle, but this can run a little hot and cold. … Thought he could have done a much better job of busting his rear when he needed to chase the play, which I saw in the Central Florida game. He will play with really good effort, then he goes away for several plays. … There were also times where he needed to do a better job of locating the ball. Would see him fighting the blocker and the ball would go by him. Wasn’t as quick reacting to the play as some of the other defensive linemen that I have studied in this draft. … Thought he was a much better player when they used him as 3 technique over the guard than when they tried him at end. Can be a handful to have to deal with inside for guards and centers that struggle with power. … Two things bother me about this player: the hot and cold play, and the use of his hands. I know that he can be coached in this league to play better with his hands, but effort is something that is going to be on him. … If you are a general manager, you can hit the home run with this player because there are traits that you see in some of the top players in this league, but there is also that side that scares you to death. Would not be one bit surprised if a team takes a shot at him in the top 10, or he slides.