NFL Combine 2012: Dontari Poe's Performance Highlights Purpose of Scouting Event

Wes ODonnellFeatured ColumnistMarch 2, 2012

INDIANAPOLIS, IN - FEBRUARY 27: Defensive lineman Dontari Poe of Memphis takes part in a drill during the 2012 NFL Combine at Lucas Oil Stadium on February 27, 2012 in Indianapolis, Indiana. (Photo by Joe Robbins/Getty Images)
Joe Robbins/Getty Images

Memphis defensive tackle Dontari Poe was a fringe first-round prospect when he arrived in Indianapolis at the 2012 NFL Scouting Combine.

A week later, he dominated every single test the NFL evaluators threw at him and left Indianapolis with all but a guarantee to go in the top 25 picks.

Poe measure in at 6'3.5" and 346 pounds. He bench pressed 225 pounds a whopping 44 times—the most of any player at the combine—and jumped 29.5" in the vertical.

He did all that before running a sub-5.00 40-yard dash, and at 346 pounds that is beyond impressive. He showcased good feet and quickness in on field drills and basically turned both Mike Mayock and Warren Sapp speechless every time he was in front of the camera. If you know either of those two analysts' reputations, you know shutting them up is nearly impossible.

Poe has that effect on people, though, and his performance is a prime example of what is great about the combine.

The senior defensive tackle played on a horrendous 2-10 Memphis team this season. Not only was it in the bottom of Conference USA, but it was in the bottom of the entire NCAA.

Unless you were out looking for Poe, there is a good chance you weren't going to hear about him.

He finished the year with 33 tackles—eight for loss—one sack and one forced fumble. Like most players of his size and skill level, he's not a stat machine and what he can do on the field isn't often magnified in numbers.

However, what he can bring to an NFL team was put on display in Indy. He's a big, strong, athletic presence in the middle of a defense with ridiculous potential. Every team is looking for the next Vince Wilfork-type guy and Poe could be it.

Poe is the type of guy this combine event is made for, not just physically, but in terms of exposure.


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