Memphis nose tackle Dontari Poe is big, fast and strong, and he was also the unofficial champion of the 2012 Scouting Combine. As a result, the 21-year-old’s draft stock is rising.
The problem is that his versatility was a question mark prior to the Combine, and Poe might only be suited to excel to the best of his ability as your standard 3-4 nose tackle. Assuming he doesn’t have the star power to move into the top 10, that leaves only a handful of teams that make good sense for Poe. Kansas City and Arizona pick 11th and 13th, respectively, and both could use fresh blood to clog the middle.
But if Poe gets past the Cardinals, it’s very unlikely that he drops past San Diego in the 18 slot. Antonio Garay has been a stellar nose tackle, but he’s 32 and coming off a down year. And it can’t be a coincidence that, just days after Poe started drawing Haloti Ngata comparisons, word emerged that the Chargers were probably going to allow Garay to hit the open market. (Actually, it quite possibly could be a coincidence, but we’d prefer to say it isn’t.)
I get the feeling Chargers fans would approve of letting Garay go in favor of a freak athlete like Poe, especially when you consider the money the team would probably save in the short term.
Plus, the guy has President Obama’s endorsement. What more could you want?