Dontari Poe may be Chiefs’ third-best nose tackle


When a team takes a player with the 11th pick in the NFL draft, that team is usually hoping that player can step in and start immediately. But the Chiefs selected nose tackle Dontari Poe with the 11th pick in this year’s draft, and not only is Poe not currently a starter, he may not even be second string.

The Kansas City Star reports that the real competition at nose tackle in Chiefs camp is between Anthony Toribio, who’s currently the starter, and Jerrell Powe, a 2011 sixth-round pick who played in only one game as a rookie but has looked good in camp and recorded a sack in the preseason opener.

When Chiefs coach Romeo Crennel discussed his three nose tackles’ performances in the preseason game against the Cardinals, the best he could say for Poe is that his effort is good. But in the NFL, there are no points for effort, and when discussing actual production from the nose tackle position, it was Toribio and Powe whom Crennel mentioned.

“Toribio made some plays, which we liked,” Crennel said. “The young Poe, he’s still learning, and he gave good effort. He’s trying to learn to do the things the way we want them. He’s not there yet. And P-O-W-E . . . he got in there, he made a play. He’s improved from where he was last year. . . . It’s not a bad thing to have a couple or three guys to play the position, if they can do it.”

Crennel said before the preseason game that Poe needs a lot of work, and Poe’s first live action against another team confirmed that. Although Poe was perhaps the most impressive athlete at the Scouting Combine, he has a long way to go before he’s an impressive player on the field.

46 responses to “Dontari Poe may be Chiefs’ third-best nose tackle

  1. Surely the Chiefs knew he is a project player when they selected him. I don’t think anyone in their building needed more than a couple of minutes to know that he isn’t rookie starter material and that he knows a lot of development to put all his talent on the field.

    Then again, if they thought that he was pro-ready, maybe some team should give me a shot at GM. I’m sure I would have made a better 11th overall selection, if that’s what they wanted.

  2. Exactly why I wouldnt have taken him until the 3rd or 4th round at best.

    He is extremely athletic, but about as raw as raw can be. In the top 15 picks, you need an immediate impact player. Especially on a team like the Chiefs.

  3. I remember Alfred Williams on the radio discussing Poe pre-draft. His weird little cohost was screaming that Denver should draft Poe, and Big Al essentially said “I know talent, Poe will be a bust”. And pointed to his game tape as greatly lacking.

    When the draft came and Denver traded out of the first round, Williams was unhappy. But he was happy that a divisional opponent drafted Poe.

    Way, way, way, way, wayyyy too early to declare Poe a bust. But I’d been planning to keep an extra eye on him just because of what Alfred Williams said. That man knows football and definitely knows defensive line.

  4. Poe is out of the University of Memphis. They play a very soft Conference USA schedule. Still Poe could only manage one sack all year and 33 tackles. This, even though he was playing against teams like Austin Peay. He’s strong and he’s fast but he can’t play football and that was obvious before the draft.

  5. The combines are just a small part of the evaluation of a college athlete but some fans believe it is a 100% test for a successful career in the NFL. The combine has become a TV event with enormous expectations thanks to the NFL network.

  6. I said when they drafted him that it was a mistake. I still feel that way. Should have taken David DeCastro. Poe will end up being another “Junior Savii” if you remember him. He was as strong as an ox but failed miserably on the field. Pro football is more than just being the strongest guy on the field and Poe is proof of that.

  7. Another example of a guy who has the great scouting combine workout…BUT…who sucks as a football player. At least it got him picked 11th in the first round. However, the number of “reps” you do or your 40 yard dash time don’t mean didly if you still suck as a football player.

  8. “Pioli is overrated”, heck Tom Brady has made a lot of people in and from that organization overrated. I’m not saying that everyone in that organization is overrated, but he certainly allows them more room for error.

    And no, I’m not a Jets, Dolphins, or Bills fan.

  9. Crennel has said from day one that he’s a project. I expected and have expected him to be a 2nd/3rd string all year. Crennel has also stated over and over again that the DL system he uses is extremely complicated and it takes ANY player a while to learn it. No news here.

  10. I believe Al Williams said that “if you cannot flash in Conference USA, you sure as heck will not flash with the big boys; he also said in review of Poe’s game tape that he spends too much time on the ground.” Pioli will be gone soon and the Chiefs will rebuild again. Go Broncos!

  11. B-U-S-T

    Nothing new tho the league is full of first round busts. Not every player selecter in the top 10 or 15 is a sure thing. The comment earlier comparing him to Vick is silly. Vick may not be Tom Brady back there, but he is a starter n a threat everytime he touches the ball. A better comaprison would be Jamarcus Russel in my opinion if you wanna compare.

  12. I have watched this game 2 times, as well as being there. The first play Poe played he gave good push and ended up 5 yards in the back field before Skelton was sacked by Houston. After that, he was constantly double teamed througout the game. Taking two offensive Linemen out of everyplay is exactly what a Nose Tackle should do. Penetrating the line he will pick up when his skills develop.
    Was he perfect? No, not by any stretch. However, NT is a very difficult position to play in the NFL, and coming from a smaller school like Memphis, you expect the speed to surprise anyone.
    To say Poe is a bust after one preseason game is just plain Ignorant.

  13. These GM’s are paid millions and they keep making the same mistake – drafting athletes instead of football players…Usain Bolt might go in the first round next year.

  14. It was said after the combine that woe be the team that drafted Poe. He would have been much better suited as a second or third rounder becaue amybe then he would have some internal drive, but being a first rounder, and an 11th pick no less,there is no incentive to get down and do it since his contract is almost fully guaranteed.

    That said, I am glad the Chefs (good googly moogly-some might remember) aren’t my team, but my Browns aren’t much better.

  15. He will be glue in 3 years. Who drafts a guy like this 11th overall?? Thats why the Chefs will never amount to anything

  16. This isn’t a surprise. Everyone knew on draft day that this kid was a workout wonder at the combine, and his actual college career was very average.

    Everyone except the Chiefs, of course. You don’t take fliers on players in the first round.

  17. I don’t understand how this could happen.. he bench pressed a bunch of times in a row and ran fast in tights. Isn’t that all it takes?

  18. It would appear that whoever wrote the original article did’t watch any of the Chiefs-Cardinals game. Before everyone starts calling him a bust, remember that he has played in exactly one preseason game. Sheesh!

  19. If thought he wasn’t going to be a project going in then you don’t know what you’re watching. He’s a guy that you sit on for three years and then start evaluating him… hence the reason he should have been a 2nd rounder.

  20. Lol I love how people who know nothing about our roster run their mouth… We were up 17 to 0 when we pulled our starters… we crushed arizona on every aspect of the game, when most nation media have the cards ahead of us on power rankings…. crazy. Poe will be fine, we picked him with the potential in mind… this team is built strong from top to bottom…. and yes cassel will have a great year as well… now that dumbass haley is gone!

  21. shackdelrio says:

    One preseason game and people are already labeling him a bust…


    Hes not being labeled a bust because of one preseason game. He’s being labeled a bust because he was a top 15 pick, and didn’t come close to dominating what should have been much, much inferior talent in the conference USA.

  22. The Taylor Mays workout warrior/combine hero scenario strikes again! Poe was a surefire bust according to many scouts, and, at best, was referred to as a “2-3 year project, and maybe longer.”

  23. Mark my words. Poe is the NFL’s new Mike Mamula. The chiefs were suckered by his great combine numbers and Poe is just an average player. Heck, Poe didn’t even put up great stats in college and he was playing weaker competition. SMH.

  24. If you want to make compare Poe to anyone who was a work-out wonder at the combine, compare him to Mike Mamula. A total BUST drafted by the birds! Passed on Warren Sapp for that work-out wonder.

  25. The Chiefs’ only major hole coming into the draft was a 3-4 nose tackle. They found depth at tight end, running back, and right tackle in free agency. They took Poe because he had the highest potential at the position. I know someone who doesn’t pay a lot of attention to KC would think that the Chiefs lack talent, but they don’t. They have proven starters at almost every position on the field. This defense is good enough with the return of Berry to thrive without an immediate impact from Poe.

  26. When you have the luxury of being as good as the Chiefs, they manhandled the Cardinals, you have the ability to go for bust or boom picks. Poe was a position of need and was argued as the top DT in the draft. It’s not rocket science folks, and it’s the 1st game of the preseason of his rookie year. Nothing to see here.

  27. The tone of this article makes you wonder if Michael David Smith actually watched the Chiefs game.
    Their entire D-Line played fairly well, including all 3 NT’s. How can you tell?
    Chiefs D had a combined 7 sacks by their front 7 positions (including one by 2nd year NT- Jerelle POWE). This is in addition to several other QB hurries & pressures.
    While that’s obviously good news for the Chiefs, it was admittedly against a Cardinals OL that is at best average, & against a less than stellar group of QB’s.
    Dontari Poe may or may not come along in his own time.
    What is more impressive (& more important) is just how much the coaching of HC/DC Romeo Crennel & DL Coach Anthony Pleasant have improved the play of the rest of the D-Lineman:
    Glenn Dorsey & Tyson Jackson have gone from BUSTS on the 29th ranked Defense a few years ago to anchoring the 15th ranked Defense last year. The improved play from NT’s Anthony Torribio & Jerrelle Poe will also help Dorsey, who is a more natural fit at DT not at NT, where he played most of last year.

  28. Not a bad situation to be in for the Chiefs, not having to rely on a rookie and being able to give him time to develop skills at one of the tougher positions. Way too early to call him a bust.

  29. Steeler’s Will-enator says:
    Aug 14, 2012 11:25 AM
    Not a bad situation to be in for the Chiefs, not having to rely on a rookie and being able to give him time to develop skills at one of the tougher positions. Way too early to call him a bust.


    Your logic and your thinking before you type has no place on this site. Poe is being handled exactly how Crennel wants him to be. He’s being developed, he’s learning technique and he’s not being rushed. The same thing did with Wilfork(who didn’t start until week 13 of his rookie season) and other players at other positions. I think one of the best Dline coaches in the league should get the benefit of the doubt on this one.

  30. I love the idiots that say pioli is Overrated. The chiefs were real contenders before he was there right??? NO. The chiefs are going to be a contender this year. So what if Poe is only going in on 3rd down. It takes at least 2 olinemen to cover him he frees dj Tamba Houston belcher. Also Dorsey and Jackson are the 2 best run stoppers in the league. Poe comes in fresh on 3rd down and the chiefs have 1 of the best defenses in the league. But yeah pioli is so overrated. Come on!

  31. Poe is an athletic freak, a work out warrior. Men that large are not supposed to move the way he does.

    As a football player he is average at best. The Chiefs put more stock in his combine numbers than they did in his film. The film doesn’t lie, they reached on a career backup nose tackle.

  32. LOL! The best definition of a workout king is Poe. If the Queefs bothered watching his college tape they would’ve seen he has no talent.

  33. Poe will be just fine. With Toribio (snatched from Green Bay’s practice squad) & Powe developing, we have a position group that went from weak to very strong. NT’s job in a 3-4 isn’t sacks. Their job is to take on double-teams, free up LB’s to get pressure on QB’s & fill rush lanes. Chiefs 11-5 this year. Mark it up…

  34. As professional and extensive as I’m sure most of your scouting training is, the one thing I must remind you is that this was the man’s first preseason game! Calling him a bust, and paraphrasing the infallible Todd McShay with no sense of uncertainty just makes you look ignorant. I have no idea whether he’ll develop into a good player or not, but that’s the point… Neither do you! Keep your jejune opinions to yourselves, because nobody cares what you have to say. Oh, and have a nice day (:

  35. Whether Poe is a bust or not remains to be seen (no way would I have drafted such a project with the 11th pick, but nobody asked me). What I’m looking forward to is how often Poe and Powe are going to get mixed up. Assuming Bowe eventually shows up, and the supply of jokes is endless. I’d better add the KC Star website to my favorites list.

  36. Looks like Tarzan….plays like Jane.

    When you can’t make first team all conference in Conf USA, you shouldn’t be the #11 overall pick.

    Dorsey, Jackson, now POE…..and….you don’t have to wonder why the Chiefs haven’t won a playoff game in 19 years!

  37. godofwine330 says:
    Aug 14, 2012 9:37 AM
    …That said, I am glad the Chefs (good googly moogly-some might remember) aren’t my team, but my Browns aren’t much better.
    Actually your Browns are much worse. Have they won their division or even made the playoffs in the last decade?
    And now you have an owner that is talking about cleaning house in 2013. That would indicate he has low expectations for the 2012 season. I feel bad for Weeden.

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