Nov.26, 2011; Hattiesburg, MS, USA; Memphis Tigers defensive lineman Dontari Poe (74) after their game against the Southern Mississippi Golden Eagles at M.M. Roberts Stadium.Mandatory Credit: Chuck Cook-US PRESSWIRE

Combine Update: Dontari Poe Earns the "Freak" Tag


Is it nice to call someone a freak? Randy Moss didn’t seem to mind. I don’t know how Dontari Poe feels about that particular designation but he’s got it now whether he likes it or not. And he deserves it. Today’s combine performance by Poe was truly freakish. The 346 pound defensive tackle out of Memphis went out and ran a 4.87 40-yard dash. Did I mention he weighs 346 pounds? Oh I did. Well let me say it a third time: dude weighs 346 pounds and he ran a 40-yard dash in 4.87. For perspective, defensive tackle Ndamukong Suh ran a 5.03. And Ndamukong Suh doesn’t weigh close to 346 pounds.

It wasn’t just the 40 time for Poe, it was the whole performance. He also put up the best bench press number at the combine with 44 reps. That means he’s really strong. Then there was his 10-yard split time of 1.07. That means he’s really explosive. Big. Strong. Fast. Explosive. What else do you want him to be? Technically sound? He might not be there quite yet but give him time.

Of course whenever some young draft prospect pops up on people’s radar screens it becomes necessary to compare him to other players. The natural comparison with Poe is Haloti Ngata. Viking fans will of course immediately think of Pat Williams, another big guy who possessed uncanny athletic ability. Thinking about Poe stepping in and becoming the new Pat Williams should be enough to make any fan salivate. Unfortunately it doens’t look like it will happen. Even before the combine performance there was little chance of Poe still being on the board when the Vikings picked in the second round. Now he’s got a chance to go in the top 15. Unless the Vikings swing a trade, they won’t be picking in the right spot to make Poe their defensive line anchor of the future. And with the Rams and Redskins reportedly ready to execute a blockbuster deal involving the second pick, you can probably forget about the Vikings pulling off the trade they would need, unless there’s some team that really wants Matt Kalil.

All we can do is look at Poe’s combine numbers and dream of what might have been. So sad. We could’ve had a beautiful thing together.

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