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Scout on Dontari Poe: Watch him play, he didn’t do anything

Dontari Poe, Chris Relf, Jimmy Robinson AP

The excitement from Dontari Poe’s phenomenal Scouting Combine performance is starting to fade in the eyes of many league observers, who are turning their attention back to Poe’s tape — and not liking what they’re seeing.

Poe, the Memphis defensive tackle who took the Combine by storm by running a 4.87-second 40-yard dash at 346 pounds and bench-pressing 225 pounds 44 times, does not impress many of those who have watched him play.

He’ll be overdrafted,” one personnel man told the Times of Trenton. “He did all of that at the Combine, so some team will take him way higher than he should go. I mean watch him play, just watch. He didn’t do anything. And he wasn’t playing at a very high level, either. All I know is he had one sack last year and it came against Austin Peay. You probably didn’t even know Austin Peay had a football team.”

When Poe announced in December that he was entering the NFL draft, he said he’d been told he projected as a second-rounder who could move into the first round with a good Combine. Poe didn’t have a good Combine — he had a great Combine — and he started being discussed as a Top 5 pick.

So those who watched him bench press and run 40 yards in a straight line are more impressed than those who watched him play football. That’s not a good sign.

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76 Responses to “Scout on Dontari Poe: Watch him play, he didn’t do anything”
  1. grogansneck says: Apr 1, 2012 7:49 AM

    and with the 16th pick, the New York Jets select Dontari Poe….

  2. stubbyjones says: Apr 1, 2012 7:53 AM

    Every year you got these combine kings who cashout…like Aaron Maybin, Gholston etc…congrats i guess…

  3. jimmysee says: Apr 1, 2012 7:53 AM

    So the emperor wears no clothes!

  4. mattsffrd says: Apr 1, 2012 7:53 AM

    Underwear Olympics champion? Sounds like a perfect candidate for the Raiders!

  5. KIR says: Apr 1, 2012 7:55 AM

    He must have did something on the field he was invited to the combine.

    However, I didn’t like his interview he kept talking about how he could have been a dealer or gang banger as if he did something special by not going down that path. As Chris Rock said “You just did what you were suppose to do!” You don’t deserve an award or pat on the back for that. Newflash Dontari, most kids from the hood are not drug dealers and gang bangers.

  6. nflsucker says: Apr 1, 2012 7:56 AM

    Hey, that’s still more sacks than Vernon Gholston had in his entire NFL “career”.

  7. nyjad says: Apr 1, 2012 8:00 AM

    I’ve been saying the same thing. He put up ridiculous numbers in the combine but barely made an impact vs garbage competition on the field. Total workout warrior.

  8. kingpel says: Apr 1, 2012 8:05 AM

    I hope Jeff Fisher realizes this.

  9. bigbillsfan says: Apr 1, 2012 8:10 AM

    Getting Poe to achieve depends on the veterans that surround him and the coach to motive him.

  10. satanphoenix says: Apr 1, 2012 8:11 AM

    The personnel man is undoubtably jets or giants (look at the source) and would love to see Poe drop to 16 (jets) or 32 (giants)

  11. nflfollower says: Apr 1, 2012 8:19 AM

    What this guy said is absolutely true. And very alarming, considering the competition he played against.

  12. cmdrsmooth says: Apr 1, 2012 8:19 AM

    and with the 16th pick, the New York Jets select Dontari Poe….
    That was good.

    I hope Bellichick starts a rumor he is looking to trade up to the 3rd pick so some Bellichick wanna be takes him on drops some good players down to us.

    One sack at that size. Both Poe and his Defensive coach should be embarrassed.

  13. phillybeav says: Apr 1, 2012 8:21 AM

    The one sack stat amuses me… he is a DT. The way that teams rotate guys based on situations, he probably won’t be on the field much in passing situations. As strong as he is, he could be a great double-team magnet with the right coaching. I would take him as a 4-3 DT and let him eat up blocks, which would make the team’s MLB that much better.

    I agree that teams need to be leery of a combine superstar and shouldn’t overdraft based on 3-4 drills in Indy. That being said Poe is a young, raw talent that could make an entire defense stronger up the middle; he should not be around by the end of the first round.

  14. kepickle says: Apr 1, 2012 8:25 AM

    as long as the Panthers don’t draft him at 9

  15. phillyphan72 says: Apr 1, 2012 8:31 AM

    Andy Reid is a sucker for guys like this…

  16. electionconfidential says: Apr 1, 2012 8:33 AM

    He played for a really poor team. I can say that because I live in Memphis. He may just not have found good coaching yet… In any case the NFL takes chances on gifted athletes all the time, so maybe he’ll work out for someone. I sure wouldn’t spend a top 5 pick on a guy who just had one sack last year though…

  17. oaktown49er says: Apr 1, 2012 8:35 AM

    He may be talented, but he gets taken out of plays way too easily

  18. oldbyrd says: Apr 1, 2012 8:39 AM

    Good article. The facts and the combine will leave an interesting situation come draft day.

  19. fatguystrangler says: Apr 1, 2012 8:45 AM

    Poe was never even a first team all C-USA player. Definitely a buyer beware prospect.

  20. bangitfootball says: Apr 1, 2012 8:48 AM

    This years Mike Mamula

  21. warpd says: Apr 1, 2012 8:53 AM

    Raiders

  22. Max says: Apr 1, 2012 8:56 AM

    What I saw on his highlights after the combine was a guy getting double teamed consistently, a guy who eats up blockers, and a guy who doesn’t get pushed backward easily, he maintains a forward trajectory to the QB even when double teamed. Errrm that’s kinda what I am looking for in 3-4 NT.

    Poe is a space eater who doesn’t get over-powered and maintains pressure on his gaps, if you want sacks in a 3-4 defense draft an OLB.

    Watching Poe, I do agree that he doesn’t have the same explosiveness as Ngata off the line. Ngata is just a freak, he is so fast off the ball for his size it’s mind blowing. But even with that freakishness Ngata’s avg. is only 3.5 sacks per year for his career. Major sacks totals will never be expected from their positions.

    You draft Poe if you need someone to draw double teams so that your LBs can get to the QB, you draft Poe if your interior D-line gets pushed off the line of scrimmage on run plays. If you want sacks, then you draft Whitney Mercilus, Nick Perry, Melvin Ingram etc, but if you don’t have people like Poe and Ngata on your team, doing the non-glamorous work, good luck with getting to the QB.

  23. pacodawg says: Apr 1, 2012 8:56 AM

    My neighbor kid is on the high school football team. He benches 400 and runs a 4.86 40. He should be a top ten pick too.

  24. jnbnet says: Apr 1, 2012 8:58 AM

    Some guys mature a little later than others. There is a chance that he will be a star in the NFL….as long as he is coachable.

  25. redrocker77 says: Apr 1, 2012 9:02 AM

    He could play for the Jags right next to Tyson Alualu. I’m sure Gene Smith is salivating at the chance to take him at # 7.

  26. bettis3636 says: Apr 1, 2012 9:06 AM

    That’s fine… let him slide down to Pittsburgh… ;)

  27. sjoyner59 says: Apr 1, 2012 9:12 AM

    Can you say Mike Mamula ?…..I can,we drafted him instead of Warren Sapp and that was a huge mistake…..

  28. tatum064 says: Apr 1, 2012 9:18 AM

    What the hell did “one personnel man” ever do.?! ..i didnt even know AND still don’t know who he is….here’s hoping Dontari Poe drops a safe on whatever team this guy is for.

    Cannot stand scouts who throw their opinion around like this pre-draft. What an unbelievable a’hole. Just keep it to yourself, this crap hurts the whole process….let em play some games , first.

  29. bucfaninil says: Apr 1, 2012 9:29 AM

    Yeah IMO he’s a mid to low second NFL Talent… if I were to run a Mock of me being GM and what I would do a opposed to what I think they would do… he’d even be mid-3rd

  30. ernie ernie says: Apr 1, 2012 9:31 AM

    Sounds like another Farley. What the heck did he do last year. Drafted way to high. With the supporting casts around him he should have been the same animal he was in college but was almost a no show.

  31. NoDecaf says: Apr 1, 2012 9:31 AM

    Caveat emptor baby.

  32. vincentbojackson says: Apr 1, 2012 9:41 AM

    Three things you can’t coach: size, strength and speed.
    Poe has it all and a solid system with good coaching will make this guy a star.

  33. phinfan527 says: Apr 1, 2012 9:51 AM

    Hey Ireland Poe looks like a franchise steal at 8. Add that to your pathetic resume as GM.

  34. ickabod665 says: Apr 1, 2012 9:52 AM

    And if Belichick drafts him in round 1, everyone will be calling him a genius.

  35. raiderredleg says: Apr 1, 2012 10:00 AM

    All the Raider themed comments are pretty funny…Especially since Al Davis is gone and their is a whole new regime is in place that values more than just speed and size.

    Might want to start throwing those comments towards another franchise.

    All said, it would be VERY interesting if Poe was taken by the Chiefs…Granted they wiffed for the most part on G. Dorsey and T. Jackson, but maybe Romeo Crennel could bring the best out of Poe.

  36. anonymouslyanonymouscommentor says: Apr 1, 2012 10:03 AM

    stubbyjones says: Apr 1, 2012 7:53 AM

    Every year you got these combine kings who cashout…like Aaron Maybin, Gholston etc…congrats i guess…
    ———————————————-

    Maybin was extremely productive in college and had a great year for the Jets last season.

  37. east96st says: Apr 1, 2012 10:06 AM

    One of the more tedious aspects of the offseason is the “expert” opinion. The list of “can’t miss” prospects that failed is a mile long and guys like Ahmad Bradshaw (7th round pick) and Victor Cruz (undrafted) are stars. Let’s be honest and admit the “experts” are anything but. Every team has screwed up picks and “geniuses” such as Jerry Reese and Bill Belichick have fallen on their faces as often as they have hit gold. I’m willing to bet any of us could flip a coin and be about as accurate in our predictions as the “experts”. Bottom line, no one has figured out how to predict how a young man whose reasoning skills are not yet fully formed and, often, a grossly incomplete education will react once a huge paycheck is placed in his hands and the pressure to compete at the highest level week after week starts to take it toll.

  38. nflofficeadmin says: Apr 1, 2012 10:18 AM

    Do I hear a… bust?

  39. jerrycola says: Apr 1, 2012 10:19 AM

    The Jets just re-signed their NT to an extension so I wouldn’t expect them to draft Poe. But, this is the Jets we are talking about and they did overdraft Dwayne Robertson and Vernon Gholston, so anything is possible with them.

  40. sullijo1 says: Apr 1, 2012 10:28 AM

    If you can’t make First Team All Conference, you should not be picked in the first round.

    Many mock drafts have him going to the Chiefs…….that would be perfect.

  41. moagecu says: Apr 1, 2012 10:31 AM

    Cannot stand scouts who throw their opinion around like this pre-draft. What an unbelievable a’hole. Just keep it to yourself,this crap hurts the whole process….let em play some games , first.

    Umm, that’s is a scouts job. Review tape, watch games and make an opinion on the player. The difference between you and the scout is that he gets paid to do it.

  42. jason49er says: Apr 1, 2012 10:34 AM

    Let him fall to 30 and let 49ers D-Line coach Jim Tomsula work his magic on this guy like he did with Ray Mcdonald, Isaac Sopoaga, and Ricky Jean Francis.

    If he can’t turn him into a stud NT, no one can.

  43. quirtevans says: Apr 1, 2012 10:50 AM

    Sometimes, the combine marvels turn out to be top-notch football players. Jason Pierre-Paul is a recent example of someone who had an amazing combine, but was thought to be too raw as a football player, against weak competition. Anybody near the top of that draft regret passing on JPP?

    The question for Poe will be whether he can undergo the necessary attitude adjustment. Will he turn out to be Albert Haynesworth pre-contract, or Albert Haynesworth post-contract? That’s highly speculative, which is why different scouts and different teams will grade him very differently.

  44. andyreiddoublecheeseburger says: Apr 1, 2012 10:59 AM

    One thing I’ll give Mayock and Kiper credit for- they put their name and rep behind their assessments of these players. These “unnamed scouts” are gutless (like most the of Jets roster apparently)

  45. riverhorsey says: Apr 1, 2012 11:03 AM

    What team did the personnel work for?

  46. schmitty2 says: Apr 1, 2012 11:10 AM

    ernie ernie says:
    Apr 1, 2012 9:31 AM
    Sounds like another Farley. What the heck did he do last year. Drafted way to high. With the supporting casts around him he should have been the same animal he was in college but was almost a no show

    He didn’t do much because he was INJURED for most of the year

  47. stairwayto7 says: Apr 1, 2012 11:15 AM

    The Raiders trade there 2015 and 2016 1st round pick to select Poe in the 1st round this year!

  48. ghostofgilchrist says: Apr 1, 2012 11:15 AM

    All of this may be true about Poe…but evaluating someone on the number of sacks is just short sighted…particularly for a Tackle.

    How many sacks do you see that are really the result of the sacker’s individual effort? QB’s get moved from their spot, and often run into someone else’s arms.

    Sacks are a fun stat…and have meaning over a large number of games. But they’re given a lot more significance than they deserve.

  49. snaponrules says: Apr 1, 2012 11:21 AM

    “one personnel man told the Times of Trenton. He did all of that at the Combine, so some team will take him way higher than he should go.”

    —————————————————————————————————–

    Man this guy makes it sound like Poe is trying to pull a fast one on everybody. What exactly did this guy do at the combine to deceive everybody?
    Ran faster, jumped higher, benched more and gave it his all?
    How dare he.

  50. bangithard says: Apr 1, 2012 11:28 AM

    This guy is headed NORTH TO GREEN BAY.

    they love this type of over-rated player… case in point:

    BJ RAJI
    AJ HAWK

    maybe the key link is that Thompson is always looking for some type of ‘J’ob!!

    haha

  51. giselleisasucubus says: Apr 1, 2012 11:30 AM

    Congrats Dontari, sounds like you are the 2012 Mike Mamula Annual Combine Champion. Some dumb team will draft you. Hire a good financial planner, the bonuses have changed. “Weight -room-hero, with $$ in his eyes”…

  52. realitypolice says: Apr 1, 2012 11:43 AM

    snaponrules says:

    What exactly did this guy do at the combine to deceive everybody?
    Ran faster, jumped higher, benched more and gave it his all?
    How dare he.
    =====================

    Way to completely miss the point. No one says Poe is trying to “deceive” anyone. People are just saying that his combine numbers don’t match his on-field production and that teams will deceive THEMSELVES into believing he is better than he is.

    I said it after the combine: When a guy puts up monster numbers in drills yet looks so mediocre on tape against very mediocre C-USA competition, it is a HUGE red flag.

    Poe was unable to dominate offenses that were for the most completely comprised of players who will never even see the inside of an NFL locker room. Every single player he will go against next year will be better than the very best player he faced off against in college.

    His production would have been questionable if he had played in the SEC or Big 12. In C-USA, it is inexcusable.

    Great Combine + Weak On-Field Performance Against Bad Competition = High Bust Probability.

  53. dbellina says: Apr 1, 2012 11:44 AM

    You can teach a big guy to be better at football, you can teach a good football player to be bigger. no doubt he will be drafted higher than he should but he might turn out to be a good player. with the right coaching.

  54. eagles92 says: Apr 1, 2012 12:03 PM

    I don’t care what anyone says you put a guy who weighs 346 and runs a 4.8 40 and puts up 225 44 times with Jim Washburn and watch this boy shine!

  55. skolvikesskol says: Apr 1, 2012 12:04 PM

    rookie wage system!

  56. bleed4philly says: Apr 1, 2012 12:09 PM

    Tape tells 95% of the story. The combine has turned into a publicity stunt. lesean mccoy couldnt get it under 4.5 at the combine and all it did was allow the eagles to grab him as a late 2nd rounder, although his tape was loaded with making guys miss.

  57. mullman7675 says: Apr 1, 2012 12:16 PM

    mattsffrd says:
    Apr 1, 2012 7:53 AM
    Underwear Olympics champion? Sounds like a perfect candidate for the Raiders!

     62 9 
    …………………………………………………………………………………………………….
    Hey lions fan!! Al Davis died, Big Reg is in charge now. The draft jokes are now obsolete as the franchise has a new look.

    To everyone: Please make sure your rants are topical and current, otherwise you are just spewing nonsense.

  58. Mr. Wright 212 says: Apr 1, 2012 12:20 PM

    satanphoenix says:Apr 1, 2012 8:11 AMThe personnel man is undoubtably jets or giants (look at the source) and would love to see Poe drop to 16 (jets) or 32 (giants)
    —–
    Hey Rand McNally, you do realize that Philly is closer to Trenton, right?

    At any rate, where the writer is from has nothing to do with their allegiances.

  59. beavertonsteve says: Apr 1, 2012 12:29 PM

    Sounds like another Farley. What the heck did he do last year. Drafted way to high. With the supporting casts around him he should have been the same animal he was in college but was almost a no show.
    =====================================
    Sounds like pretty soon he’ll be LIVING IN A VAN DOWN BY THE RIVER!!!

  60. johntonioholmes says: Apr 1, 2012 12:49 PM

    I hardly ever watch college football so someone might need to correct me.

    Was he playing in a two-gap system? Casey Hampton has like 8 career sacks over 12 seasons, but it’s because he plays two-gap.

    Frankly, he’s probably the best in the league at playing two-gap because Pittsburgh’s run-defense is always topping the league.

    He’s not as explosive as Wilfork or Ngata, but he holds his gap.

    So if Poe was holding his gap like Hampton does, than he doesn’t need to get a lot of sacks–his job is to take on blockers.

    Like I said, though, I never watched Poe play, either. I’m just saying that we shouldn’t be fooled by stats, because they can change depending on the system that he’s in.

  61. sdjay76 says: Apr 1, 2012 1:00 PM

    #1. players get drafted for their potential, not for what stats they put up on college. like someone said, you can’t teach a guy to be big, fast, and strong

    #2. i wonder if this scout is from a team who’s drafting in the 13-25 range who’s hoping he falls?

  62. darocnessmonsta says: Apr 1, 2012 1:09 PM

    Albert Haynesworth 2.0!!!

  63. spinmovr says: Apr 1, 2012 1:26 PM

    I watched some Youtube clips of this guy and with that athleticism and against the type of teams Memphis plays he should have been throwing blockers around like ragdolls. Yeh he was double teamed…..by a pair of 280 pound dudes on a weak defensive line.

    Even if he had terrible coaches that just told him to go out there and “do his thing” Poe should’ve been way more dominant. He was going against blockers who didn’t really know what they were doing.

    Not saying he can’t be coached into a great one because you never know what kind of system and coaching scenario he’ll fall into. All I’m saying is how is he supposed to get better against NFL guards and centers who are just as big, just as strong, just as fast and who have polished blocking techniques?

  64. northerntanned says: Apr 1, 2012 1:53 PM

    it’s the lying season…strangely every year about this time…He has a low motor, but he can make things happen when motivated. Someone will make the mistake of taking him too early.

  65. jumbossportsblog says: Apr 1, 2012 2:00 PM

    Reblogged this on jumbossportsblog and commented:
    Can’t wait until the Eagles take him. Mike Mamula Jr.

  66. jackshine says: Apr 1, 2012 2:01 PM

    This smells of pre-draft smoke and mirrors.

  67. rajbais says: Apr 1, 2012 2:16 PM

    Note to ALL NFL Teams: Let him drop to Round 3 or 4!!!!

    Go talk to Raider OT and ex-Combine standout Bruce Campbell!!!!

  68. detroitcityryda says: Apr 1, 2012 2:23 PM

    It always happens some bust has a good combine good 40 and teams get all wet and draft him 20 picks early , then he gets paid n shows his true self . Judge the player on his game not on how many reps he did that’s the stupidest thing to do 🙏thank you Tim tebow

  69. joebuckiscreepy says: Apr 1, 2012 2:27 PM

    bangitfootball says:
    Apr 1, 2012 8:48 AM
    This years Mike Mamula

    __________________________

    exactly what i was going to say. eagles will take him if he is there and he won’t even be as good as antonio dixon.

  70. tluke25 says: Apr 1, 2012 2:28 PM

    Bashing this guy because he only had 1 sack last year? The guy is 346 lbs. He’s a nose tackle. Not a pass rusher. He will certainly fill the hole in a 3-4 system, and that is exactly what you want. That will allow the players around him to play better – especially the linebackers.

    The Steelers Casey Hampton never does anything in a game, yet it was a a great pick, and he has been solid for over a decade.

    And no he is not an Albert Haynesworth 2.0. This guy is a pure NT. Albert Haynesworth is nothing similar to that.

  71. briang123 says: Apr 1, 2012 2:48 PM

    Hey satanphoenix, just so you know Trenton might be the capital of New Jersey but it is an Eagles’ town in terms of fans and media coverage.

  72. chawk12thman says: Apr 1, 2012 2:53 PM

    The Combine and Pro-Days are just a means of getting to know the players in a general sense. What a “good” stat day shows is that the player takes the NFL serious enough to work out on his own and that he is dedicated to getting better. Not a guarantee he will do good, but coming IN or OUT of shape tells everyone what kind of player he is striving to be in the off season.

    Poe moved up because he demonstrated he has been training extremely hard. Other’s moved down for performing much less than expected. Most stay where they are on the boards.

    Looking forward to the draft.

  73. ibreathefootball says: Apr 1, 2012 4:02 PM

    You are tripping if you think that this guy is just a workout warrior, because he’s not. Yes, he did only have 1 sack this past season and it was against SMU not Austin Peay. Your personnel source is wrong because this guy was the the clog in the middle for the Tigers and was a double team machine. He makes the plays that don’t show up on the stat chart (i.e. Vince Wilfork). I don’t think he’s worth a top 5 pick, but BEFORE the combine I had him rated 11th overall. I would say he should go 9th to Carolina or 11th to Kansas City.

  74. tommyf15 says: Apr 1, 2012 4:18 PM

    Gotta remember that the Memphis coaching staff was a mess last year. Poe could blossom with the correct instruction.

  75. ceskazbrojovka says: Apr 1, 2012 7:13 PM

    ernie ernie says:
    Apr 1, 2012 9:31 AM
    Sounds like another Farley. What the heck did he do last year. Drafted way to high. With the supporting casts around him he should have been the same animal he was in college but was almost a no show.

    injured, but was pretty beastly in the short time he was on the field

  76. pantherpro says: Apr 1, 2012 7:39 PM

    Perfect for Raiders! Probably can’t read or write just like Raider Nation!

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