Kansas City Chiefs GM Scott Pioli and head coach Romeo Crennel both said on Thursday night that Memphis DT Dontari Poe was on their radar before his impressive NFL Combine showing. The Chiefs scout players throughout the year so of course he was but the NFL Combine is when the rest of us really started noticing Poe as potentially a high first round pick.
Chiefs GM Scott Pioli referenced the three years he played at Memphis and said the Chiefs had him as the top rated nose tackle in the draft -- even before the Combine.
"Prior to the Combine," Pioli said, "I know where we had him rated as the top nose in this draft. I also know a lot of pretty good football people who saw him being the top nose prior to the Combine. What happens at the Combine is that he's not on a lot of people's radar. Defensive linemen aren't sexy or attractive to the outside world and then he bursts onto the scene because he had such a great workout and a lot of football people I respect thought prior to that he was a good football player."
[Editor's note: Kinda makes you wonder about those scouting reports that said he wasn't at true nose tackle.]
Asked about the timing of their interest in Poe, Crennel said:
"He was on the radar before the Combine," Crennel said. "Our scouts do a tremendous job and all the reports they had on the guy talked about how good he was as a player and his ability. Those reports came before the Combine. When we went to the Combine, and saw what he did there, that perked our ears up even more."
If Poe struggles at the next level, I can already tell the criticism of Pioli and Co. will be that they just picked a Combine superstar. That's something they'll probably be a little sensitive about.
Hopefully, though, Poe works out and the Chiefs get the most out of him.