NFL Rumors: Kansas City Chiefs DT Dontari Poe May End Up 3rd String

When the Kansas City Chiefs drafted nose tackle Dontari Poe in the first round of the NFL draft this past April, they had every reason to believe Poe would be seen anchoring the middle of the 3-4 defense when the season opened, tying up blockers and creating room for a talented linebacking group to make plays. As it turns out, it’s looking like Poe won’t even win the starting job and might not even win the second-string spot.

Anthony Toribio is currently on pace to be the starter when the regular season opens on September 9 and he’s won the praise of the coaching staff. Jerrell Powe, a second-year man is the one who’s in position to displace Poe for the second-string job. That’s quite a comedown for Poe, to be fighting a sixth-round pick just for the right to be a backup.

There’s plenty of time left in training camp, there are still changes that will come in the season and it goes without saying that there’s plenty of time left in Poe’s career to get things straightened out. But what’s going on in St. Joseph’s, MO is a prime example of why it’s a mistake to get carried away by pre-draft workouts.

Poe wasn’t a high-level prospect when last year’s college season ended. He became one with his performance in the workouts. Now he’s on the verge of being third string. Am I the only one noticing the alarming pattern that whenever Dontari Poe actually puts on a football uniform and lines up across from other players his stock doesn’t seem nearly as high? We aren’t drafting workout kings, we’re drafting football players. Here’s hoping Poe is just going through growing pains and that he won’t be the latest reminder of this.

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  • David H


    Do you follow the Chiefs or just write about them? I know that seems like an odd question but the truth is based on the article it appears you know nothing about them and how they see Poe at this point in time. Romeo Crennel has already stated that the depth charts mean nothing to him. He provided them because he had to. Also, Poe is currently being used in a lot of the sub package formations the Chiefs run. Last year the Chiefs were out of their base defense and into sub packages about half the time. They addressed the whole question of Poe on Chiefs Live just today. The Chiefs are not disappointed in where Poe is at this point in time. He will be brought along and develop along the way. This is a good thing. He has time to develop his technique. Also…Poe was far from a flop Friday night. Could he have done some things better? Sure. But there were several times where he commanded double teams. That is a big part of his job. One such play Cameron Sheffield got to the QB for a sack. Sheffield gets the glory but Poe was instrumental in making it happen. This whole “Poe might be third string” nonsense is great attention grabber material but has no basis in fact. Poe will get plenty of playing time in the regular season and will be a valuable part of this team to help it get better. At least that is what Romeo is saying.

  • Luke

    I think that this is too early to expect a rookie nose tackle to be playing well. The learning curve for NTs is steep, as is evidenced by recent years’ drafts. Tell me the last NT who started all the games his rookie year? I expect Poe to have a learning curve. I also know he is working with one of the best, if not the very best DC in the league. So give him a chance! I expect that by mid-season, he’ll at least be a solid contributor in the NT rotation. Give him a few years, and assuming he continues to work hard and learn, he could be one of the best DT in the entire NFL.

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