Dontari looks the part of a big time athletic defensive tackle. His combine numbers suggest he will be dominating at the NFL level. In his workouts he shows quick feet; he is very fast for his size. His explosion numbers are excellent along with his speed to quickness ratio. Dontari is a hell of an athlete and he showed it at the combine. He has the strength, size and speed to be a dominant pass rushing defense tackle in a 4-3 defense and should be an excellent Defensive End in a 3-4 defense. In fact, this is a kid who should be able to play multiple positions along the front line in any style of defense and require a double team on every play...at least that's what his workouts suggest. I would suspect that along with these excellent combine numbers, you will find game stats that tell you just how dominating a player at the college level that Dontari has been throughout his college career. You would expect that wouldn't you?
It's hard to list all of the concerns that I have about Dontari, but I'll try. He is lazy, doesn't dominate, is easy to move and block, does not require double teams to be ineffective, does not burst off the line consistently or change the line of scrimmage. Dontari does not shoot the gaps, does not communicate with teammates on the field, lacks situational football intelligence, doesn't use his arms to shed blocks and make tackles -- in fact, when he does, it's by accident. He doesn't put his hands up if he can't get to the QB, doesn't push the pocket and has no knowledge of the fundamentals of his position. Dontari also does not exhibit strong mental stamina but, in his defense, he carries his weight very well. He does not look his size, which leads me to believe that he must have a good work ethic off the field because he is in excellent shape. There is a light at the end of the tunnel. The big question is, why is this kid in such good shape and still plays like he isn't in good shape? Maybe he just plays when he wants to...ya think?
I do have to confess: there is a bit of a disclaimer with this profile. First of all, I contacted Memphis before the combine and they refused to send me any film. That was a first for me and I'll tell you it threw up a red flag for me. Think about this: you have a possible first round pick in the NFL draft, something to help you in the future with recruiting and you refuse to send film to anyone but the NFL! I was shocked to say the least and I thought that maybe they are not proud of this kid! I wrote it off and figured I would not do a profile. Then a member came through after the combine and sent me a DVD of one game, Memphis vs. Arkansas St. I was excited! I thought I would turn on the film and see the next Nadamukong Suh. Unfortunately, I can't tell you how disappointed I was. I saw a kid who looked bored and was just going through the motions. Arkansas St. scored twice with running plays right up the middle and a guard who will not sniff the NFL handled Poe all game long. There was no domination and he was up against very few double teams. He played with his shoulders pushed into the guard or center in front of him instead of his arms, standing them up and shedding to make a tackle. It just made me want to cry. The members all know by now that I have to profile for 32 teams and I know Dontari's workout numbers will get him drafted. But for me personally, I have to downgrade him because of his excellent combine numbers! That might sound strange, but how can a player have numbers like Dontari had at the combine and play the way he did in the Arkansas St. game? When I see workout numbers like the ones he put up at the combine, I expect to see a dominating "effort" on the football field -- quite simply, it's an insult to all the players who do not have that type of talent and play better strictly because of effort. I could not keep this kid on my board for the simple fact he doesn't play to his athletic talent and I cannot trust he will show up for work once he receives some money. I was concerned that I only used one game to come to this conclusion so I thought it is only fair that I look at Dontari's stats to see if he had some dominating games in the stat department. Now, I'm not a stat guy because I know stats do not tell the whole story. Nevertheless, they can show dominating aspects and I would think, should emulate his combine numbers.
Dontari Poe DT Memphis - 2011 season - 22 total tackles, 1 sack, 0 forced fumbles, 0 interceptions.
Now, let's put them against the same stats from Nadamukong Suh's Senior 2009 season at Nebraska:
Nadamukong Suh - 2009 season - 85 total tackles, 12 Sacks, 1 forced fumble, 1 interception.
That doesn't mention Suh's 24 tackles for losses and that's more than Poe's total tackles for the year.
At least Vontaze Burfict LB Arizona, is the type of player that isn't fooling anyone and what you see is what you get. Dontari could be the next Albert Haynesworth and to me, that's worse. When you disregard a player's play on the field, hold his workouts in higher esteem than his statistics and think you're going to "coach him up", you run the risk of drafting (in any round) a big fat KABOOOM and a BUST. The loudness of that KABOOOM is directly related to what round that player is drafted in, but make no mistake, in this case the KABOOOM will be heard no matter what round. All because of those combine numbers.
The BS Detector
Drew Boylhart Feb /12