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Monday, February 27, 2012

Poe likely moves out of Steelers range

Memphis defensive tackle Dontari Poe likely moved out of the range of the Steelers in the first round of the draft when he clocked in at and official 4.98 seconds in the 40-yard dash at the combine Monday.

Original times had him at 4.87 seconds, but 4.98 is still pretty darn good when you consider Poe is 6-4, 346 pounds and also had the best bench at this combine, putting up 225 pounds 44 times.

He also blistered his 10-yard time in 1.70 seconds, showing plenty of explosiveness.

There is a question as to why that didn't necessarily translate into more big plays at Memphis, but if you're looking for a guy who has the power and burst to occupy two blockers at the nose - and possibly shift outside at times to end in a 3-4 - Poe is your guy.

© The linebacker prospects also ran on Monday and there are a pair there that should interest the Steelers a great deal.

Boston College's Luke Kuechly (6-3, 242), my personal favorite, answered questions about his speed by blistering the 40 in 4.58 seconds.

Kuchely's instincts might be unmatched by the players available in this draft and the only question about him was whether he had the kind of speed needed to go sideline to sideline. The top tackler in the nation last season with 191(!) answered those questions.

The other top-rated inside linebacker, Alabama's Dont'a Hightower, doesn't have Kuechly's instincts - who does? - but he's built like current Steelers star LaMarr Woodley, with thick legs and body.

At 6-2, 265 pounds, Hightower ran the 40 in 4.68 seconds. He has the added bonus of being able to line up outside as well and give you some pass rush.

Selecting Hightower in the draft would give the Steelers the luxury of never having to move Lawrence Timmons – who was terrible on the outside – out there again.


Steve-O said...

I like the Steelers position at 24. There are a lot of very talented players in that window that can still make an immediate impact along the offensive/defensive line and even at linebacker. Personally I'd like to see them get Kuechly but I don't think that's realistic. Poe has worked his way up the ladder so my money is on Glenn or Hightower.

Dale Lolley said...

If I had to bet right now, it would be Hightower. This is a deep draft for guards.

Patrick said...

seems like its deep for D-linemen too.

Didn't Hightower have a Culpepper like knee injury? I know he came back from it, but still. I'm not a big fan of LBers in the first anyway, but I'm really not a fan of one with that kind of previous injury.

Henry said...

Dale, do you like Kuechly enough to give up 2.24 to move up into the middle of the first where he will realistically go

OR would you rather just save the pick and take Hightower?

Anonymous said...

Kuechly wont make it past #15. Thats philly's pick and they have crap linebackers

Dale Lolley said...

No, I don't think the Steelers are in a position to move up. They have holes they need to fill because of immediate need and age. To move up where they would need to get Kuechly, they would have to give up at least their third or possibly their second. Too much. Stay where you are and take the best player on the board available who fills a need. It's what the Steelers do.

michaelbro8 said...

A guy that's 346 lbs and can run faster than me just pisses me off

Anonymous said...

I think there is a greater possibility that the Steelers trade down. If Keuchly, Poe, and Hightower are gone, that basically leaves a bunch of players in positions that the Steelers do not need. We have drafted DE two out of three years in the first round and the remaining first round DT fit 4-3 base defenses. Unless we lose Wallace, they won't take a WR, and there probably isn't a Safety in this draft the Steelers would take at 24. So, unless an OT falls like Bulaga did a few years ago, I think this draft is shaping up for us to grab some extra picks and work on depth at 0-line, LB, and RB and Secondary.

Anonymous said...

I dont care what anyone says but we should straight up cut Farrior and A Smith.

Hampton too if necessary but those other 2 first

Henigin said...

Every year people clamor for the Steelers to trade down from their 1st round pick and every year it doesn't happen. The last time I remember them doing that was either Kendall Simmons or Casey Hampton, and they only traded down 2 or 3 spots. To Dale's point, what the Steelers do is stay where they are and pick the BPA that fills a need. The huge advantage to doing that is that they can focus their deepest player evaluation on the guys that they think will be available at their picks. Maybe that's why Belichick has such a crappy draft record in the past couple of years with all the picks he acquires - he's more concerned with an entertaining draft than making the right pick.

And would you really put it past the Steelers to draft a CB or slightly reach for a safety that is projected by draftniks to be more of a high 2nd round guy? I wouldn't be overly surprised for any of that.

marc said...

fact is, the steelers are nailing their first round picks, so it's hard to justify them doing it another way.

with that said, i expect poe to go no later than mid 1st round, say 12-15. now, if he slips past that a little, then i think it would be a great move for the steelers to move up a few spots and grab him.

Anonymous said...

now that Poe is sky-rocketing up the draft, what about Devon Still? can he play nose?

Anonymous said...

Hightower is the only realistic pick for us in terms of ILB in the first. Kuechly is a top 15 player easily..maybe higher..Philly loves the guy.

I also worry about Hightower's knee "he tore the anterior cruciate ligament, medial collateral ligament and meniscus in his left knee four games into the 2009 season." But he's a great leader type with all the measurables. I'd take him.

Anonymous said...

As Dale already pointed out, Hightower has position flexibility. That instantly makes him even more valuable to us. Colbert already has been on the record to say he doesn't believe we need to stock the O-line with first round picks. Now, if a highly regarded interior lineman is available (as in Glenn) then I could see us drafting o-line. But every year the draft has crazy, crazy things happen and a top-15 talent drops down. After hearing the stat that pegged us as the second youngest team offense in the AFC, I think this is a year we add some
flare to the defense. I look for Hightower in the first and a run stuffing defensive tackle in the second round.

tobiathan said...

If Poe is still around after 16 I'll bet anything we move up to him. A lot of mocks have Poe falling past us with us picking an ILB. I don't 1st rd LBers either, esp. not in Coach L.'s defense.

Godspeed, Kirby Wilson!