This draft class is deep at defensive end. That’s a huge plus for the Broncos who desperately need help in that area and don’t select until the 25th pick.
All of the talk was about Quinton Coples, Fletcher Cox, Devon Still, and Michael Bockers being selected in the first round, but with his performance at the combine, Memphis defensive tackle Dontari Poe has jumped up the draft board faster than a cat who sat on a thumbtack.
At 346 pounds, Poe ran a 4.87 40-yard dash which is unheard of for a man his size. To put that in perspective, Robert Griffin III’s 40-yard dash time (4.41 seconds) is proportionate to a 346-pound man running it in 6.84 seconds. The equivalent for a 210-pound running backs would be 2.95 seconds.
Not only did Poe run a speedy 40, but he put up 44 reps on the bench press which was the highest of this year’s combine. The man has some hops for his size too. He recorded a 29.5 inch vertical and a 105 inch broad jump. Not to mention, he certainly wasn’t the slowest in the 3-cone drill or the 20-yard shuttle drill.
Even President Obama was talking about Poe’s mind-boggling combine performance on Bill Simmons’ podcast.
“They just had the Combine and they were talking about some guy who’s like 340 and runs a 4.8 and has a three-foot vertical,” Obama said. “I don’t know what you do if a guy like that hits you.” – Pro Football Talk
Poe’s performance means a great deal for the Broncos. A guy like Devon Still who was thought to be gone before the Broncos selected with 25th pick could still be around simply because Poe has jumped up the board.
There are still question marks about Poe, however. It’s clear that he carries his weight extremely well, but his play on the field has often been described as inconsistent. After watching some film on Poe, I saw that he gives up on plays. I’m not sure if it’s conditioning, but he doesn’t pressure the run or the pass consistently. Other times, he looks like a top 15 draft pick.
As I’ve said before, Still is my guy, but there are plenty of teams who could wind up with an impact defensive tackle from the first or second round of this year’s draft.