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Feb 27, 2012; Indianapolis, IN, USA; Memphis Tigers defensive lineman Dontari Poe takes a break during the NFL Combine at Lucas Oil Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Brian Spurlock-US PRESSWIRE

Possible Dallas Cowboys Draft Pick: Dontari Poe

Dallas Cowboys-related Tweet of the Week: @DudePerfect “The Cowboys should trade for Tebow. Then Dallas could use Romo for the first 55 minutes of the game, and Tim for the last 5. Championship!”

Wow, the Cowboys sure went wild in free agency this week. They signed seven free agents and addressed many needs from guard (Mackenzy Bernadeau and Nate Livings), to backup quarterback (Kyle Orton), to secondary (Brandon Carr and Brodney Pool) and more (Lawrence Vickers and Dan Connor).  Despite all of that, there obviously still are positions the team could still use more (young) help, and they are starting to really focus on the upcoming draft. My draft series, which talked about David DeCastro last week, continues this week with the big DT from Memphis, Dontari Poe.

While originally slated to be drafted in the late first round to early second round, Poe’s stock has now sky-rocketed, thanks to an excellent combine. Todd McShay has projected him being drafted as high as 11. Mike Mayock moved him from #3 overall DT to #1. Even Barack Obama commented on Poe’s performance: “They just had the combine and they’re talking about some guy who is like 340, who runs a 4.8, and has a three foot vertical. And I don’t know what you do if a guy like that hits you.” To tell you what I’m talking about, Poe (technically) ran a 4.98 40-yard-dash (even quicker than Suh), 29.5 inch vertical jump, 105 inch broad jump, 7.9 seconds in the 3 cone drill, 4.56 seconds in the 20 yard shuttle, and 44 reps in the bench press (where he was a top performer).

Even though he was the fifth-heaviest defensive linemen to weight in at the combine since 2000 (at 346 lbs), he is almost freakishly strong (one of the 10 strongest men in college football) and combines that with excellent athletic ability. He can clog the middle like nobody’s business, constantly drawing double teams, to allow linebackers to make plays around him. A little bit of a knock against him is that he’s lacking in versatility and a little bit of off-the-ball speed. If he was drafted by the Cowboys, then it’s always a possibility that Ratliff will move to end, as that was a rumor being thrown around. Poe doesn’t really have that option.

The Cowboys didn’t have a lot of youth on the defensive line play snaps last year, except Sean Lissemore. Poe is certainly much bigger than Josh Brent and Robert Calloway, although we didn’t see much of them in NFL action. As with DeCastro, Poe might not make it to 14, so Jerry and Co. might have to trade up. While listening to trade offers does put Dallas in a good position, it might cause them to over-think that all-important first round pick.

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