Hoping to add some size and strength to last season's suspect rushing defense, the Chiefs went after Memphis big man Dontari Poe with the first of their eight picks.
Following all-conference-type Freshman and Sophomore campaigns, more was expected than received out of Poe for his junior year at Memphis. Still, and despite that, Poe amazed draft experts and scouts at the NFL Combine, showcasing the size and speed of a slightly smaller man.
His impressive bench press and 40-yard-dash times showed how much upside he had, and head coach Romeo Crennel couldn't pass on him, especially when faced with a defense that was nearly last in pressuring opposing quarterbacks in 2011.
Poe is quick off the ball for a big defensive tackle. His strength and explosiveness, combined with his speed, are all strengths of his that made him attractive.
Knocks on Poe in the past have been in relation to his techniques and ability to fight off blocks, especially for a bigger, stronger guy. Some analysts have also questioned his effort and passion. But it appears his combine performance has put those concerns to bed—for the Chiefs especially.
If Poe can learn to use his body size and leverage to get off blocks, he'll likely have a long career stuffing the middle of the line on Sundays.
Not many mocks had Poe going quite this high, but for a team in desperate need of big, strong linemen in the middle of the defensive line, the Chiefs could have certainly done worse. Based on what Poe had accomplished in his three years at Memphis, he's shown enough talent and ability to make this a minimal-risk pick for Kansas City.
As long as Poe can stay in shape and take advantage of fine-tuning his technique with NFL position coaches, the Chiefs got themselves a solid nose-tackle-style guy to possibly build a defense around.