When you’re 6-5 and you weigh 346 lbs, you’re not supposed to be able to do things like running a 4.87 second 40-yard dash, but apparently Memphis DT Dontari Poe is about as familiar with physics as the average college football fan is with Poe himself.
The Memphis Tigers don’t have a lot of history with putting players into the National Football League, but after coupling his astonishing 40 time with his monstrous measurements and 44 repetitions on the bench press, Poe has positioned himself into a potential first-round projection in April’s NFL Draft.
Poe wasn’t highly coveted coming out of high school, and he wound up at Memphis largely because he didn’t have any other options, but Poe made the most of his time with the Tigers. The local boy was a three-year starter that showed flashes of brilliance as the nose-tackle in the Memphis 3-4 scheme.
However, despite Dontari Poe‘s obvious potential, he didn’t dominate the way you’d expect a mammoth nose tackle to dominate against the inferior competition of Conference USA. Some scouts may still be skeptical of whether or not the tape justifies a Top 20 projection, but that sort of size and athleticism virtually guarantees Poe will hear his name called on Day One.
Poe has the kind of strength to anchor a 3-4 defense at nose tackle, and the athleticism to provide interior pressure. He’ll eat up blockers and keep opposing interior lineman out of the second level, but the question is whether or not Poe is capable of bringing the effort and stamina he’ll need to be a productive three-down player.
Ultimately, the answer will indicate whether or not Poe was just a combine freak or if he can have longevity in the NFL, but for now, those freakish numbers should at least earn Dontari Poe a first-round payday.