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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