Kansas City Chiefs 2012 NFL Draft: Expectations for 1st-Round Pick Dontari Poe

Jeremy Sickel@https://twitter.com/JeremySickelContributor IIIApril 27, 2012

NEW YORK, NY - APRIL 26:  Dontari Poe of Memphis greets NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell after he was selected #11 overall by the Kansas City Chiefs in the first round of the 2012 NFL Draft at Radio City Music Hall on April 26, 2012 in New York City.  (Photo by Al Bello/Getty Images)
Al Bello/Getty Images

Although one of their more immediate needs was at defensive tackle, the Kansas City Chiefs shocked most by drafting Dontari Poe out of Memphis with the 11th pick in the 2012 NFL draft.

At 6'3" and 346 pounds, Poe made some noise across the NFL landscape with his out-of-this-world performance at the NFL Combine in March by running the 40-yard dash in 4.98 seconds and putting up the 225 pound bench press a whopping 44 times.

However, after organizations did their due diligence, Poe started to slip back down draft boards resulting from his play against seemingly lesser competition while at Memphis.

Although he showed flashes at times, Poe's combination of speed and size should have easily translated into dominating opposing offensive linemen. Instead, his peak was being named to the Conference USA All-Conference second team this past season. To shed some light, that would be similar to making Third-Team All-Big East—ouch.

The measurables are there for Poe to thrive in the NFL, and it is a mystery as to why that didn't translate into more success throughout his college career.

Was it a lack of drive or issues in technique? Or is it that Poe is simply one of those workout warrior types that relies on pure ability?

Size and speed only get you so far, especially in the NFL where it is rather easy to get lost in the shuffle. So whatever it was that thwarted Poe from dominating in the trenches at Memphis, Chiefs fans will more than likely find out sooner rather than later as there is a strong possibility that he starts in Week 1.

However, Poe will have one of the finest defensive minds in football to learn from. Chiefs head coach Romeo Crennel should be able to squeeze every bit of talent out of him and quickly determine where he fits in with the team.

If you are the superstitious type, the Chiefs may be in for a pleasant surprise by taking Poe with the 11th pick.


Here Are the last 10 Players Selected with the 11th Pick

2011: J.J. Watt, Defensive End, Houston Texans

2010: Anthony Davis, Offensive Tackle, San Francisco 49ers

2009: Aaron Maybin, Defensive End, Buffalo Bills

2008: Leodis McKelvin, Cornerback, Buffalo Bills

2007: Patrick Willis, Linebacker, San Francisco 49ers

2006: Jay Cutler, Quarterback, Denver Broncos

2005: DeMarcus Ware, Linebacker, Dallas Cowboys

2004: Ben Roethlisberger, Quarterback, Pittsburgh Steelers

2003: Marcus Trufant, Cornerback, Seattle Seahawks

2002: Dwight Freeney, Defensive End, Indianapolis Colts


Out of this group, only Maybin can be labeled as a bust, while the jury is still out on Watt and Davis, although they have made solid contribution early in their careers. However, there are four players on a Hall of Fame trajectory in Willis, Ware, Roethlisberger and Freeney. Not to mention McKelvin, Cutler and Trufant, who have all been long-time steady contributors in the NFL.

While the majority of Chiefs fans are displeased with the selection of Poe (expected with the team's track record of drafting defensive tackles recently), nobody will truly know what to expect out of him until he steps onto an NFL field.

If it all comes together, the Chiefs might have gotten themselves a steal. But if Poe turns out to be a bust, his name will be mentioned in the same breath as Ryan Sims around Kansas City, and nobody wants to hear that.

Contact Jeremy at jeremy@popflyboys.com, on Twitter @KCPopFlyBoy and read more at popflyboys.com.