The Kansas City Chiefs ranked 26th in the NFL last year vs. the run, allowing 132 YPG on the ground. Then over the off-season they lost NT Kelly Gregg to free-agency. So obviously, if the Chiefs were going to improve that run defense, and in the process maybe make good for those who back them on the weekly NFL picks, KC was going to have to fill that large hole in the middle.
And what better way to fill a large hole than to plug it with a mountain of a man.
With that in mind Kansas City used its first-round choice to take 6-4, 350-pound Dontari Poe from Memphis with the 11th-overall pick. Poe became the third defensive lineman the Chiefs have taken in the first round in the last five years, and it’s hoped he’ll be able to fill the gaps between the other two top choices, Glenn Dorsey and Tyson Jackson.
Now, the knocks on Poe have been the relatively poor competition he went up against in college, the ho-hum numbers he put up, and his motor, which doesn’t seem to be turned on all the time.
But so far the Chiefs’ staff has had nothing but good things to say about Poe.
Pre-draft scouting reports on Poe, however, for what they’re worth, were more mixed. “Good burst off the snap,” but often “stands up at contact, negating his own strength.” “Struggles with blockers smaller than him.” “Good lateral movement, good speed, light on his feet” but “doesn’t play with power consistently.”
But these types of analysis don’t mean he won’t be able to do what Coach Crennel, the acting DC, will ask him to do, which will be to occupy as many O linemen as possible so KC’s linebackers can get through and make plays.
Some Chiefs depth charts list Poe as a starter for this season, others list him as a back-up. No doubt about it, Poe was drafted more for his potential than for what he did in college, and he’ll be working on a serious learning curve this year. Regardless, we expect KC to improve upon that 132 YPG rushing it allowed last year.