2012 NFL Mock Draft: Dontari Poe

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When I put on the tape, I’m initially surprised by how well he moves for a guy 6’5 350 pounds. When NFL draft guys see that combination, they get excited. Scout’s eyes light up in hopes that there is a legitimate game changing nose tackle in this draft. But, that’s not the case. Poe has a quicker first step than expected. That’s his key skill.

Memphis played him in the 5, 3, 1, and 0 technique. They used him all over. He’s at his best when he’s able to shoot the gap and for penetration. He has the brute strength to fight through the blocks in these situations. You’re not going to find to many 350 pounders that can get going this quick and then shift it a different direction on the fly.


Some team / scouts will be enamored by his athletic ability to move that easily and look past the things a 350 pounder should do. He’s become to accustom to throwing his weight around in a finesse style, that he’s never learned how to use it to shield off two defenders and just eat up the middle of the line. He doesn’t use his weight room strength to combat double teams or even fight through one on one matchups when he’s lined up nose to nose.

Poe is too easily taken away from the play in one on one matchups against inferior opponents. If he can’t win in the trenches versus FCS schools, you can’t expect him to take on multiple interior linemen in the NFL. Dontari lacks awareness. Several times a game he’s caught off guard at the snap. This takes away from the value of his main asset (burst of the snap). At other times, when he does penetrate, he has no clue who has the ball.


  • DT, Memphis, Jr.
  • Ht: 6’5
  • Wt: 350
  • 40 time: 5.17


Poe will catch someone’s eye and he will probably end up in the wrong system in the NFL. If I was drafting Poe, it would be in a 4-3 scheme and I would use him at the 1 technique. This still allows him to use his burst in a one gap system but it also takes advantage of his size in the middle of the line.

Whether he plays in the 3-4 or the 4-3, I don’t feel like he needs to drop any weight. He takes up more space and moves great at 350. However, if he adds weight, then we have a problem. The main thing teams need to ask themselves while watching Poe’s film, “would we be as high on him if he was 310″. Don’t let the size dictate the position.

Jayson Braddock is an NFL Scout / NFL Writer & On-Air Personality. Jayson is also a football insider for the Dylan Gwinn show on 790 AM in Houston, TX - Listeners NOT in the Houston metropolitan area can hear Jayson on iheart radio or You can also catch Jayson on Sirius XM Fantasy Sports Radio with Scott Engel and the morning crew every Thursday at 10:30am ET. You may email Jayson directly @ [email protected] or follow him on Twitter @JaysonBraddock