Dontari Poe

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Dontari Poe
Dontari Poe
Poe in the 2014 NFL season.
No. 92     Kansas City Chiefs
Nose tackle
Personal information
Date of birth: (1990-08-18) August 18, 1990 (age 24)
Place of birth: Memphis, Tennessee
Height: 6 ft 3 in (1.91 m) Weight: 346 lb (157 kg)
Career information
High school: Memphis (TN) Wooddale
College: Memphis
NFL Draft: 2012 / Round: 1 / Pick: 11
Debuted in 2012 for the Kansas City Chiefs
Career history
Roster status: Active
Career highlights and awards
Career NFL statistics as of Week 12, 2014
Tackles 122
Sacks 9.5
Forced fumbles 0
Passes Def 9
Stats at NFL.com

Dontari Poe (born August 18, 1990) is an American football nose tackle for the Kansas City Chiefs of the National Football League (NFL). He played college football for the University of Memphis. Originally projected a second-round draft pick, Poe amazed NFL scouts with exceptionally strong workouts at the 2012 NFL Combine.[1] He was eventually selected by the Chiefs in the first round, eleventh overall, in the 2012 NFL Draft.

High school career[edit]

Poe entered Wooddale High School in Memphis, Tennessee without any prior football experience. His coach, Cedric Miller, had spotted Poe practicing with the marching band the summer before Poe's freshman year at Wooddale, and told him to report to football practice the next day.[2]

By his junior season, he was an all-state honorable mention defensive lineman and credited with 63 tackles and eight sacks. Besides his hometown school Memphis, he was recruited by Auburn, Colorado, and Mississippi.[3] Ole Miss invited him to their annual Junior Day. Particularly keen on early playing time, Poe also liked Auburn, because "they have two defensive tackles [Quentin Groves and Pat Sims] that are leaving early, so there is a good chance I will play early if I go there."[3]

Also a talented shot putter, Poe earned the Class 3-A title at the state meet with a throw of 56 ft 3 14 in (17.15 m) as a junior. In his senior year, he defended his title with a throw of 54 ft 1 14 in (16.49 m), and also won the discus throw in the state meet with a personal best throw of 156 ft 1 in (47.57 m). Poe claimed city, district and region track titles as a senior. In addition

Recruiting[edit]

Poe was regarded only as a two-star prospect by both Rivals.com and Scout.com.[4][5] He was ranked No. 92 by Scout, in a crop of defensive tackles that was highlighted by Marcus Forston and DeAngelo Tyson,[6] while Rivals not listed him among their top 75 defensive tackles,[7] but as the No. 19 overall prospect out of Tennessee.[8]

Name Hometown High school / college Height Weight 40 Commit date
Dontari Poe
DT
Memphis, Tennessee Wooddale (TN) 6 ft 3 in (1.91 m) 315 lb (143 kg) 5.0 Feb 6, 2008 
Scout:2/5 stars   Rivals:2/5 stars   247Sports: N/A    ESPN grade: 74
Overall recruiting rankings: Scout: 92 (DT)   Rivals: NR (DT), 19 (TN)  ESPN: 69 (DT)
  • Note: In many cases, Scout, Rivals, 247Sports, and ESPN may conflict in their listings of height and weight.
  • In these cases, the average was taken. ESPN grades are on a 100-point scale.

Sources:

College career[edit]

Poe played for the Memphis Tigers football team of the University of Memphis from 2009 to 2011. As a redshirt freshman in 2009, he played in 11 of 12 games for the Tigers—he did not play against Houston (November 21) due to a death in his family—including six starts at nose tackle, and finished the year with 27 tackles, including 18 solo stops. He led the team in tackles for losses with seven, and tied for the team lead in forced fumbles (3). He also added two quarterback sacks, which tied for third-most. His performance earned him a Conference USA All-Freshman Team selection.[9]

In his sophomore year, Poe became a consistent starter on the defensive line. He was one of six Tigers to start all 12 games in 2010, and ended the year ranked fifth on the team in tackles with 41, and fourth in TFL with 6.5 (for a total loss of 27 yards). In the season opener against Mississippi State, he registered three tackles (all solo stops), all of which limited the Bulldogs to three or fewer yards, including one that was for a loss of four yards. In a game versus UTEP, Poe had a season-high seven tackles, four of which limited the Miners to fewer than three yards. He also managed to sack UTEP quarterback Trevor Vittatoe on a 3rd-and-8 in the first quarter for a loss of five yards. In October at Louisville, Poe registered six tackles (four solo). For the year, Poe earned an All-Conf-USA honorable mention.

Prior to his junior season, he drew attention for his weight room performance and was named one of the "10 strongest men in college football" by ESPN′s Bruce Feldman.[10][11] During the season, Poe started all 12 games on the defensive line and recorded at least one tackle in each game, tallying 33 tackles, 18 of which were solo stops. He also ranked third on the team with eight TFLs (for a loss of 26 yards). In November, in a game against Marshall, Poe tied his career high in tackles with eight. He was selected second-team All-Conference USA, and was listed as an honorable mention All-America pick by Pro Football Weekly, which evaluates players on NFL prospects and draft value rather just college production.[12]

On December 23, 2011, Poe announced that he would forgo his senior season and enter the 2012 NFL Draft.[13] Soon thereafter, he announced that he signed with agent Jimmy Sexton of Creative Artists Agency.[14] He concluded his college career having played in 35 contests (30 starts), recording 101 tackles (57 unassisted), 21.5 TFL, five sacks, four pass break-ups and four forced fumbles.

Professional career[edit]

2012 NFL Draft[edit]

"Can you believe he ran the 40-yard dash in 4.98 seconds? Poe looks like a refrigerator. He’s not supposed to move like that. The most impressive part was his first 10 yards. He showed some explosiveness, and forgive me for saying this, but I saw a little bit of myself in him."

Warren Sapp, former All-Pro defensive tackle.[15]

Entering the NFL Combine as a potential second rounder, Poe impressed with an "epic workout performance" according to ESPN's Todd McShay, who afterwards projected him to go as high as No. 11 to the Kansas City Chiefs.[1] NFL.com's Mike Mayock upgraded Poe from No. 3 to No. 1 in his defensive tackle positional ranking.[16][17] Poe particularly impressed with a 4.98 sec 40-yard dash, despite at 346 pounds (157 kg) being the fifth-heaviest defensive linemen to weigh in at the Combine since 2000—behind only Terrence Cody, Ahmad Childress, Frank Okam, and Alameda Ta'amu.[18] Additionally, he recorded 44 repetitions in the bench press, which tied Brodrick Bunkley for fourth-most since 2000.[19][20] Due to his raw athleticism, some in the media afterwards compared him to All-Pro defensive lineman Haloti Ngata.[21] Barack Obama referred to Poe while making a guest appearance on The B.S. Report stating; “They just had the Combine and they were talking about some guy who’s like 340 and runs a 4.8 and has a three-foot vertical,” Obama said. “I don’t know what you do if a guy like that hits you.”[22]

Pre-draft measurables
Ht Wt Arm length Hand size 40-yd dash 10-yd split 20-yd split 20-ss 3-cone Vert Broad BP
6 ft 3½ in 346 lb 32 in 9⅝ in 4.98 s 1.67 s 2.83 s 4.56 s 7.90 s 29½ in 8 ft 9 in 44 reps
All values from NFL Combine

Poe was originally perceived as "the ideal two-gap 3–4 nose tackle" due to his massive frame,[23] but former NFL defensive lineman John Thornton described Poe as "more of a move guy than a big space eater," able to play in a 4–3 defense, too.[24] However, Thornton also uttered concerns over Poe's mediocre college career. According to Jonathan Bales of the New York Times, Poe was "the ultimate boom-or-bust prospect—loaded with potential, but failing to capitalize on it in college."[25] The Sporting News compared Poe to Ryan Sims and Jimmy Kennedy, two highly selected lineman who "were immensely talented yet struggled because of inconsistent effort and competitiveness."[26]

In March 2012, Poe's draft stock peaked when he was listed at No. 9 by ESPN′s Mel Kiper, Jr.,[27] and No. 6 by Sports Illustrated′s Don Banks.[28] "He’ll be overdrafted," an unnamed NFL scout told the Times of Trenton, while nevertheless acknowledging that "he’s the most athletic over 300-pound man in this draft, or a lot of other drafts."[29] After analysing game tape, Mike Mayock downgraded Poe from No. 1 to No. 4 among defensive tackles, describing him as "a freaky athlete with a good motor" who, however, "needs to get into a good locker room with a mentor in that defensive line group" to develop into a high-quality NFL player.[30] While acknowledging his lack of production in college, Bucky Brooks pointed out "Poe's blue-chip qualities (size, athleticism and strength) and the immense importance of the [nose tackle] position".[31] According to The Sporting News '​s Russ Lande, Poe's draft stock plummeted in the weeks before the draft, amid concerns over his poor production at Memphis.[32]

Sports Illustrated graded Poe as the No. 2 defensive tackle in the draft, behind only Fletcher Cox.[33] Eventually, he was the first defensive lineman off the board, selected eleventh overall by the Kansas City Chiefs. Poe was the highest drafted player from Memphis since Keith Simpson (No. 9 in 1978), and the highest drafted player from Conference USA ever. He was also the third defensive lineman Kansas City selected in the first round within five years, following Glenn Dorsey and Tyson Jackson.[34] Chiefs head coach, Romeo Crennel, said he was not worried about Poe's mediocre college statistics, "because he played every down at 350 pounds and he played every position on the line in every game."[35]

Kansas City Chiefs[edit]

Poe was expected to succeed veteran Kelly Gregg at nose tackle in Kansas City's 3–4 defense, although head coach Crennel acknowledged that "it's going to take a while for [Poe] to get adjusted."[36] On the eve of training camp, July 26, 2012, Poe agreed to terms with the Chiefs, signing a four-year deal with a fifth-year team option.[37] Per team policy, financial terms of the deal were not disclosed, but it was reported to be worth about $11 million.[38] Competing with Anthony Toribio and Jerrell Powe for the starting nose tackle spot left void by Gregg, Poe disappointed in training camp. "He needs to work on technique, he needs to work on understanding the system, he needs to get the calls correct all the time. He's got a ways to go," said Crennel.[39]

After spending the first three preseason games on the bench, Poe was moved into the starting lineup after Toribio injured his ankle.[40] He established himself as a starter, and remained in the starting lineup for his entire rookie season, starting all 16 regular season games at nose tackle and being a three-down player for most of the season. He recorded 38 tackles, including 28 unassisted. Even though he did not record a quarterback sack, he was credited for his contributions as an inside rusher in obvious passing situations.[41] Particularly, his efforts against the Pittsburgh Steelers (week 10) and Cincinnati Bengals (week 11) were praised.[41][42] In week 15, he registered a season-best five tackles in a loss against Oakland.

According to The Sporting News, Poe as a rookie appeared to be more advanced in grasping the Chiefs’ two-gap system than either Dorsey or Jackson as a rookie.[41] “I’m a much better player than when I first got here,” Poe told the publication. “I came here a little afraid, but now I kind of know what’s going on.”[41] The Kansas City Star named Poe the Chiefs' Rookie of the Year.[43]

After not recording a quarterback sack in his rookie season, Poe tallied 3.5 sacks over the first two games of the 2013 NFL season. Increasingly drawing double-teams afterwards, he only added one sack over the rest of the season. Twelve games into his sophomore season, Poe lined up on 804 defensive snaps—85 more than any other defensive tackle in the NFL.[44] After the 2013 season concluded, Poe was selected to participate in the annual Pro Bowl.

Personal[edit]

The youngest of three brothers (Pierre and Robert, Jr.), Poe grew up in the Whitehaven neighborhood of Memphis, Tennessee.[2] Peter Schrager of Fox Sports compared Poe's background to Michael Oher's, which has been the subject of the 2006 book The Blind Side: Evolution of a Game.[45]

With a loan from his agent, Jimmy Sexton, Poe bought his mother a 2012 Cadillac Escalade for her birthday in January 2012.[46][47] He later also bought her a house in the upscale Collierville suburb of Memphis.[48]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b McShay, Todd (February 27, 2012). "Poe leads impressive DL group". ESPN. 
  2. ^ a b Fox, Ashley (April 5, 2012). "Dontari Poe races up the charts". ESPN.com. 
  3. ^ a b Porter, Yancy (March 14, 2007). "Memphis' top DT talks recruiting". Scout.com. 
  4. ^ Rivals.com Recruiting Profile
  5. ^ Scout.com Recruiting Profile
  6. ^ Scout.com College Football Team Recruiting Prospects: 2008 Def Tackle
  7. ^ Rivals.com defensive tackles 2008
  8. ^ Rivals.com Tennessee Top 20 2008
  9. ^ "C-USA Announces Football All-Freshman Team". C-USA.com. December 8, 2009. 
  10. ^ Feldman, Bruce (April 20, 2011). "Top 10 strongest men in college football". ESPN Insider. 
  11. ^ One of the NCAA's Strongest on YouTube
  12. ^ "PFW 2011 All-America team". Pro Football Weekly. December 11, 2011. 
  13. ^ "Dontari Poe says he's entering draft". ESPN.com. December 23, 2011. 
  14. ^ "Memphis Defensive Tackle Dontari Poe Signs With Jimmy Sexton". Sports Agent Blog. December 26, 2011. 
  15. ^ Sapp: Teams could reach for D-linemen; Poe the real deal
  16. ^ Mayock, Mike (February 14, 2012). "Pre-combine position rankings for 2012 NFL Draft". NFL.com. 
  17. ^ Mayock, Mike (March 5, 2012). "Post-combine position rankings for 2012 NFL Draft". NFL.com. 
  18. ^ Feldman, Bruce (February 27, 2012). "Dontari Poe: More than just a Combine Freak?". CBS Sports. 
  19. ^ Tadych, Frank (2010-02-26). "Arkansas’ Petrus ties combine record in bench press". NFL.com. Retrieved 2012-03-01. 
  20. ^ "Top Performers (Bench Press – OL)". NFL.com. Retrieved 2012-02-29. 
  21. ^ Hensley, Jamison (February 28, 2011). "Memphis' Dontari Poe won't fall to Steelers". ESPN. 
  22. ^ "Even President Obama is impressed with Dontari Poe | ProFootballTalk". Profootballtalk.nbcsports.com. Retrieved 2012-10-27. 
  23. ^ Stock soars for receiver, lineman at NFL combine
  24. ^ Memphis' Dontari Poe opens eyes at NFL Combine
  25. ^ Scouting the Draft: Memphis’s Dontari Poe
  26. ^ "Analyzing SN's No. 36 prospect, Memphis DT Dontari Poe". Sporting News. March 20, 2012. 
  27. ^ Kiper, Mel (March 7, 2012). "2012 NFL Mock Draft 3.0". ESPN Insider. 
  28. ^ Banks, Don (March 23, 2012). "2012 NFL Mock Draft 3.0". SI.com. 
  29. ^ Eckel, Mark (April 1, 2012). "Poe might not be as good as scouting combine performance". Times of Trenton. 
  30. ^ "Mayock lowers Poe’s draft ranking: ‘The tape is very average’". NFL.com. April 2, 2012. 
  31. ^ Brooks, Bucky (April 5, 2012). "Poe, Osweiler, Adams headline roller-coaster draft prospects". NFL.com. 
  32. ^ Lande, Russ (April 19, 2012). "Dontari Poe no longer draft darling". Sporting News. 
  33. ^ SI.com Positional Ranking DT
  34. ^ Williamson, Bill (April 26, 2012). "Crennel is key to Dontari Poe pick". ESPN.com. 
  35. ^ Williamson, Bill (April 27, 2012). "Why Poe didn't dominate at Memphis". ESPN.com. 
  36. ^ Teicher, Adam (May 5, 2012). "Poe’s first lesson: The NFL is different and difficult". Kansas City Star. 
  37. ^ Dontari Poe inks deal; Chiefs to open training camp with all draft picks under contract
  38. ^ Covitz, Randy (July 26, 2012). "First-round pick Dontari Poe signs with Chiefs". Kansas City Star. 
  39. ^ Dontari Poe has 'a ways to go' for Chiefs, coach says
  40. ^ Dontari Poe earns first start for Chiefs against Packers
  41. ^ a b c d Teicher, Adam (December 4, 2012). "Massive Dontari Poe shows sliver of impact potential for Chiefs". Sporting News. 
  42. ^ Dontari Poe's Development on Display in Kansas City's 16–13 OT Loss on YouTube
  43. ^ Chiefs Blitz | The good, the bad and the ugly from this season
  44. ^ "Chiefs' Dontari Poe always in the middle of the action". USA Today. December 3, 2013. 
  45. ^ Schrager, Peter (April 27, 2012). "Poe never lost focus en route to NFL". Fox Sports. 
  46. ^ Higgins, Ron (April 22, 2012). "Mother, coaches proud of University of Memphis' NFL-bound Dontari Poe Mentors instrumental in helping DT believe dreams attainable". Memphis Commercial Appeal. 
  47. ^ Dontari Poe buys mom 2012 Escalade on YouTube
  48. ^ "A mother’s love fueled Dontari Poe’s rise to stardom with Chiefs". Kansas City Star. October 20, 2013. 

External links[edit]