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Could Bucs Pick Dontari Poe at #5?
Posted Mar 12, 2012 by Luke Easterling
Updated Mar 12, 2012 at 05:32 PM
Every year when the draft rolls around, there are certain anaylsts who throw out mock draft predictions that go against the grain, causing an uproar among the fanbase of whatever team he has picking the dark horse. This year, that tradition has taken form in NFL Network’s Michael Lombardi, who in his latest mock draft, projects the Bucs to use the #5 overall pick on Memphis DT Dontari Poe. Needless to say, this set the Bucs’ online fanbase ablaze, and can’t help but agree with the masses on this one.
Lombardi is correct in stating that the Bucs had difficulty stopping the run last season. However, there’s marked improvement in that category when Gerald McCoy is on the field, which has been difficult for him thanks to a string of injuries throughout his first two seasons. With a healthy McCoy, combined with a full offseason of work from Brian Price and Roy Miller, as well as young defensive ends Adrian Clayborn and Da’Quan Bowers, I see those numbers improving greatly for the Bucs. Also consider the Bucs’ lackluster play at the linebacker position, which they will look to address through free agency and the draft, and you have a recipe for optimism regarding the Bucs’ run defense next season.
This pick makes even less sense considering the other players who are likely to be available at positions the that are of much greater need to the Bucs. In Lombardi’s mock draft, he has the Bucs taking Poe, despite both Morris Claiborne and Trent Richardson still being available. I can understand why some think that Richardson doesn’t warrant a top-5 pick, but I simply don’t see any way the Bucs would take a 348-pound defensive tackle, no matter how athletically gifted he may be, with Claiborne still on the board.
There are already heavy concerns about Poe being simply a workout warrior who takes plays off and doesn’t have that non-stop motor that you want in a defensive lineman. I’m betting the Bucs heed those concerns and make a much smarter selection at #5 than Poe.
What do you think?