Pittsburgh Steelers Mock Draft: Potential Prospect Dontari Poe, NT

Nick SignorelliSenior Writer IApril 15, 2012

One of the players in this year's NFL draft who has been moving around the draft boards more than a yo-yo is Dontari Poe out of Memphis.

Before the NFL scouting combine, Poe was slated to be a second-round pick and was listed around the fifth- or sixth-best tackle available in this year's draft.

After an amazing scouting combine (amazing may not even be a fair representation of how well Poe did) he flew up many draft boards, and was projected to be picked in the top 10, most likely to the Carolina Panthers at No. 9.

But, after the dust settled and his combine numbers became black ink on a piece of paper, people started to look at Poe, and the tape of his senior season, and suddenly he fell back to the pack in terms of where he should be drafted.

Sure, there is a chance that Poe may still be taken in the top 10, but the odds of that happening are slim. There were even rumors that the Dallas Cowboys  will take Poe at pick 14. The only thing any of us can believe at this point is that teams talk bad about players they want, in hopes of said player being available when it is their turn to pick.

Looking at Poe as a player, he would be a PERFECT fit for what the Pittsburgh Steelers need on their defensive line. At 6'4", 346 lbs, Poe is a mountain of a man. If Casey Hampton has big shoes to be filled, Poe just may be the man to be able to fill those shoes.

Let me start this by saying that if teams running the 3-4 defense want to have any success, they need a monster in the middle of their defensive line.

The NT on the 3-4 must not only be able to make offenses commit two linemen to blocking him, but must also be able to push offensive linemen out of the way on running plays.

The other thing a NT in the 3-4 must do, is to collapse the pocket on passing plays. The way to do that is to have your NT push the other team's center as far into the backfield as possible, and Poe has the tools to be able to do that.

All the talk of moving Ziggy Hood to the NT position is almost laughable, because he simply does not have the size.

Poe does.

His strength is simply overwhelming. With 44 reps of 225 pounds at the scouting combine, Poe was not only the strongest this year, but one of the strongest EVER.

Usually when a player is as strong as Poe, he is not as fast. Poe breaks that mold as well, having run the 40-yard dash at the scouting combine in 4.87 seconds. That is unheard of for a man of his size.

Where Poe is lacking is shown on tape.

The reason Poe moves down the charts is because of the video of his playing days at Memphis. There are plays where Poe simply does not give 100 percent. It is obvious. However, playing in college is a LOT different than playing in the NFL.

If the Steelers were to select Poe, not only would he have Casey Hampton to learn from, he would be coached by Dick LeBeau, who historically is one of the best defensive coaches ever in the NFL. His players love to play for him.

If Poe were to not give 100 percent in Pittsburgh, he would have players like James Harrison, Troy Polamalu and LaMarr Woodley to answer to.

And, I don't care how big you are, those are some pretty big names.

The Steelers are in need of a new nose tackle, simply because Hampton is at the end of his run. As much as Steelers fans love him, the reality is—this is most likely his last year in Pittsburgh. If the Steelers end up drafting Poe, it would solidify their defensive line for the next decade.

Don't be shocked if the Steelers trade up to land Poe. Because the defensive line is the most important component to the 3-4, it would help continue the Steelers run of excellence.