For the chorus of fans still impressed by defensive tackle Dontari Poe‘s emphatic performance at February’s NFL Scouting Combine, NFL Network draft guru Mike Mayock has a little reality check.
Mayock dropped Poe from first to fourth in his position group after watching tape of the former Memphis defensive tackle. Mayock now has Mississippi State’s Fletcher Cox, Michigan State’s Jerel Worthy and LSU’s Michael Brockers ranked 1-3 among defensive tackles.
“Coming off the combine I wanted to show people what a freak this kid Poe is, and he is a physical freak, no doubt,” Mayock said Monday. “However, the tape is very average, so how do you match the two up — potential vs. his actual game footage? When I look at this kid I see a freaky athlete with a good motor. If you have those two things, over time, I believe over time you can develop into a high-quality NFL player. But the key is time … so I moved Poe back with the expectation that he needs to get into a good locker room with a mentor in that defensive line group who can show this kid how to play football.”
Poe shot up in most experts’ mock drafts after running a 4.87-second 40-yard dash and bench-pressing 225 pounds 44 times at the combine.
But in three seasons at Memphis — which plays in the lightly regarded Conference USA — the 6-foot-3, 347-pounder had only five sacks. He had just one sack in his final season at the school.