Is Dontari Poe Another Workout Warrior Like Mike Mamula?BREAKING NEWS, Eagles Draft, News, NFLDraft Monday, March 26th, 2012
There’s movement going on at the defensive tackle position in this year’s draft. Memphis defensive tackle Dontari Poe who had a monster of a workout at this year’s combine has moved up on most of the draft lists. He’s listed as the top defensive tackle in the draft by Mike Mayock of the NFL Network, Mel Kiper and Todd McShay of ESPN.
Poe has been able to do this despite playing like an average defensive tackle during his career at Memphis. I don’t think he has the motor to be a dominant NFL player, especially at the defensive tackle position.
There’s not a harder physical job in the NFL than rushing the quarterback from the defensive tackle position. You must have an incredible motor in order to be a dominant player at this position.
Last year Poe, who played in the mediocre Conference USA recorded only 33 tackles for a 2-10 team in 2011. Eight of those tackles were for a loss with one sack and one forced fumble.
This is a classic case of the scouts and talent evaluators being mesmerized by the Combine workout. Yes Poe is big and athletic, but again a dominant defensive tackle has to be self-motivated and Poe hasn’t proven that he is. I don’t want the Eagles to touch him because they can’t afford to draft a defensive tackle who takes a lot of plays off in the 4-3.
I would feel a lot better about drafting Poe if the Birds played a 3-4. Defensive tackles in the 3-4 don’t have to make a lot of plays. Their main job is tying up offensive linemen to protect the linebackers, who are responsible for making most of the plays. Poe wouldn’t be as much of a risk in a 3-4 scheme.
He shouldn’t be compared to one of the best players in the NFL, Haloti Ngata, because Ngata was a very productive player in college, while Poe isn’t.
On the other hand, both Mississippi State defensive tackle Fletcher Cox and LSU’s Michael Brockers faced much tougher competition in the best football conference in college football the SEC.
Cox totaled 56 tackles with 14.5 tackles for a loss, five sacks and one forced fumble during his 2011 campaign. He dominated the best competition in college football and that means more to me than the 40 yard dash and the bench press.
Brockers had 54 tackles with 10 tackles for a loss, two sacks, one forced fumble and one blocked kick. He’s a youngster who will get bigger and stronger.
I like Penn State’s Devon Still because he uses his quickness and athleticism to combat offensive linemen. He’s got both very good size and quickness. On top of that he was productive in 2011 with 55 tackles with 17 tackles for a loss, 4.5 sacks, a pass batted away and a forced fumble.
Michigan State’s Jerel Worthy had 3.5 sacks with 30 tackles and 10.5 tackles for a loss. He has some impressive tape but doesn’t have the size and speed of the top candidates.
The following list is the way I see this year’s defensive tackles from the perspective of how they would help the Eagles. The Birds need more quickness and playmaking ability from their defensive tackles. I’ve seen both Cox and Still be more dominant on tape than the others.
Remember that the combine isn’t really playing football. A player’s performance at the combine should be used only to confirm their production on the football field.
1. Fletcher Cox, Mississippi State
2. Devon Still, Penn St.
3. Dontari Poe, Memphis
4. Michael Brockers, LSU
5. Jerel Worthy, Michigan State
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