While I did not attend the official Kansas City Chiefs draft party in person, multiple people texted and emailed me about the detest for the Chiefs #1 draft pick, defensive nose tackle from Memphis, Dontari Poe.
4,000+ of the Chiefs’ most loyal fans, in unison, booed the Chiefs organization… Right in their own house, at the Chiefs practice facility.
Of course, fans can run a team better than a professional football mind, like Scott Pioli, right? No, make that… Better than ANY NFL GM! Sure, we all think we can, but what do other NFL “experts” think about the Chiefs’#1 draft pick?
Kansas City’s general manager Scott Pioli is thought to be risk-averse, but he made one of the bigger rolls of the dice Thursday night when his Chiefs made Memphis defensive tackle Dontari Poe their first-round pick at No. 11. Poe is massively gifted from an athletic standpoint, but his game film was less than inspiring in 2011.
Dontari Poe is one of the prospects that intrigued me leading up to the draft because of the big combine workout paired with the inconsistent tape. Did the Chiefs reach on him? Not if he can control the interior of the D-Line when K.C. looks to get after the QB. Still, an interesting pick from Scott Pioli.
Pete Prisco: CBS Sports - Gives the Chiefs a C
He’s a big wide body for the middle of the KC defense, but he has to start making plays. He looks the part, but where are the numbers?
GM Scott Pioli has to be admired for this gutsy pick, because if it turns out well, Poe has a top-five talent at No. 11. If they wanted to play it safe, Pioli would have gone in the other direction. But the GM is banking on the talent playing out, with the team’s short- and long-term futures hanging in the balance.
Bill Williamson: ESPN on why Poe didn’t dominate at Memphis
Kansas City coach Romeo Crennel said he believes Poe’s inconsistency was because he had to play several different positions and never left the field. Crennel feels like the fact that Poe will play nose tackle in Kansas City will allow him to relax and concentrate at one spot.
The Chiefs went for the Combine workout warrior in Dontari Poe, hoping he can eat up necessary space in Romeo Crennel’s 3-4 defense. Crennel will need to work with Poe to make him deliver on his promise as a consistently productive player.
This is the chance at greatness. Call this a chance worth taking; if he busts, there’s no blaming the Chiefs for taking a shot at the stars. When a player this big, this strong, this athletic, and with this much upside is on the table at the No. 11, you have to go with him. Great defensive tackles are worth their weight in gold, and if Poe can bring it and if he can be consistent, the potential is there to be a ten-year anchor at a high level.
Poe was downgraded by some teams because he only generated 101 tackles (21.5 for losses) and five sacks in 35 games.
But on the flip side a lot of teams believe he is athletically the most-gifted nose tackle in the draft and that Memphis didn’t provide him with a lot of quality coaching. He rarely got knocked off the ball and effectively stonewalled double-teams.