SB Nation's latest 2012 NFL mock draft has the Kansas City Chiefs hitting the defensive line with Memphis' Dontari Poe. The 6'4", 346-pound tackle had a solid NFL Combine showing off his athleticism and since then we've seen his name rising on mock drafts around the web.
Related: Dontari Poe Not A True Nose Tackle?
Those Haloti Ngata comparisons are pretty powerful. Romeo Crennel and his staff will believe in their ability to extract that potential, thus taking what might seem like a risk drafting Poe this high.
I remember sitting in GM Scott Pioli's office a couple years ago talking about the NFL draft and he said that things like the Combine numbers, private workouts and interviews are very important when it comes to the evaluation of a player but they're only one piece of the pie. He said nothing will be as important as the game tape itself. It's nice that a guy is athletic or can run around cones in his underwear really quickly but at the end of the day can the guy line up and show that he's a consistent player?
Pioli also said that by the time they hit the Combine they have their draft boards pretty much set. Guys will move up and down a little bit based on the Combine, workouts and interviews but for the most part the board is set in February. The Chiefs draft board doesn't really have risers and sliders by this point because KC's personnel department has the most important evaluation -- game tape.
So that's the question I have about Poe. Why wasn't he highlighted all season as this dominating defensive tackle? It seems the buzz around him rose around the Combine.
I'm not saying he won't be the pick. Maybe the Chiefs had him high on their board all year and others are just now finding out about it. But it does seem strange to me that Poe's stock is rising so quickly.