CHALK TALK NEWS
Feb 28, 2012 posted by Josh Angulo-Bartlett
Even with Selection Sunday less than 2 weeks away, MLB spring training MLB under way and the NBA “real” season about to begin, I’ll start with what sells more than a junkie in West Baltimore.
Of course I’m talking about the NFL and the Naked Olympics it’s been conducting in Indy. If you read this garbage or listen to our radio show (http://chalktalklive.com/ Sundays from 11-1 on ESPN 1300 AM in Baltimore), you already know my opinion on the combine. And although I did stick to my guns and watch more Nick Jr. than the combine, I was interested to hear how my man-crush Andrew Luck and everyone’s superhero RG3 performed. Well let’s just say they are both going to be able to take care of their families for many years as Luck cemented his #1 overall status with some eye-popping athletic ability while RG3′s stock rose even higher than it originally was.
With this Christmas-type news, new Rams coach Jeff Fisher’s heavy-porn mustache couldn’t camoflouge his ear-to-ear smile. That’s because his #2 overall pick might be the most coveted pick of the last ten years and here’s why. You see, the Rams already have their franchise QB (Sam Bradford), and even if they wanted RG3, they couldn’t trade Bradford due to his absurd salary. That leaves teams like the Browns (#4 pick) and Skins (#6 pick) drooling at the prospect of trading the farm for the right to select RG3 and get their dwindling fan bases back in the process. But what if you could get an 80% healthy Peyton Manning instead and keep all of your draft picks to help fill other needs?
These two studs weren’t the only ones that were opening scouts eyes with off the chart athletic ability. That’s because if anybody tells you that any other player did more to increase his stock at the 2012 scouting combine than Memphis defensive tackle Dontari Poe, you know that person wasn’t watching Monday’s drills for defensive linemen and linebackers. After putting up a combine-best 44 reps in the 225-pound bench press, Poe went out to the track at Indianapolis’ Lucas Oil Stadium and ran an unofficial 4.87 40-yard dash … at 6-foot-4, and 346 pounds. His official best time was 4.98, which is still ridiculous when you consider that Ndamukong Suh ran an official 5.03 at his combine, and he was 40 pounds lighter than Poe.
Even more interesting was the fact that at the combine, Poe had an unofficial 1.70 10-yard split, which absolutely speaks to his ability to explode off the snap and do really bad things to offensive linemen. Getting the numbers for that initial burst is very important — far more important than the whole 40 — when looking at linemen and linebackers who can explode off the snap. To put Poe’s split in perspective, future endbackers like Nick Perry and Shea McClellin had 10-yard splits in the 1.57 to 1.59 range — and Poe outweighs McClellin by about 100 pounds. Yikes.
After the run, Mike Mayock of the NFL Network raved about Poe’s movement skills, opining that Poe looks a lot like Haloti Ngata of the Baltimore Ravens at the line, and especially in zone drops. Ngata has a rare ability to “get skinny” through blockers at 350 pounds, and there’s tape of Poe doing the same sort of stuff.