While the Chiefs' most apparent need heading into this offseason was to finally acquire a nose tackle capable of eating up the middle of the defensive line, most saw Poe as too much of a question mark to be selected that high in the draft. Some felt that either drafting offensive guard David DeCastro or trading down to acquire more picks to mitigate risk were the better options.
So far in offseason OTAs, Poe has received praise from Romeo Crennel and the Chiefs coaching staff. But it is the franchise's recent track record with evaluating talent across the defensive line and Poe's label as a workout warrior that has fans on pins and needles as the 2012 season approaches.
Until Poe performs at game speed, no one will truly know if he can be what the Chiefs need him to be as early as this season, if it will take more time for him to acclimate to the NFL game or if he will be on the fast track to bust status.
The nose tackle position is hard to evaluate, though, so to truly assess Poe's performance, one must look at not only his numbers, but how he affects the players around him.
If Poe is doing his job clogging the trenches for the Chiefs, Tamba Hali, Justin Houston, Glenn Dorsey, Tyson Jackson and the rest of the defense will be reaping the spoils this season.
While it is tough to gauge Poe's potential statistical output, here are some predictions as to how he might fare for the Chiefs in 2012.
Dontari Poe 2012 Stat Projection
16 games played making 13 starts
4.5 quarterback sacks
Four pass deflections
Two forced fumbles
One fumble recovery
42 tackles including 30 assists
If Poe is able to accumulate these projected numbers, his rookie season will have been considered a huge success, and the Chiefs defense would begin to garner some major respect around the NFL.