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Pre-Camp Reads: Looking at DL Dontari Poe

Posted Jul 5, 2016

Over the next few weeks, we will be taking a closer look at players on the Chiefs roster

The elite combination of size, strength and athleticism has been a calling card for Kansas City Chiefs defensive lineman Dontari Poe since he was selected with the No. 11 overall pick in the 2012 NFL Draft.

The two-time Pro Bowler has 173 career tackles, including 15 for loss, 11.5 sacks and nine passes defensed in his four-year NFL career.

SEASON REVIEW

Despite having back surgery last offseason and being limited coming into the season, Poe maintained his status by leading all Chiefs defensive linemen in snaps played in each of his first four NFL seasons. 

Poe finished last year with 757 snaps played, which was seven more than teammate Jaye Howard, who had the second most among defensive linemen with 750. It was the fewest amount of snaps played in Poe’s career to this point.

That said, Poe still helped lead the Chiefs defense to rank among the best in the league in several categories, including scoring, as the Chiefs allowed just 17.9 points per game.

Perhaps the most memorable play from Poe last season didn’t even come on the defensive side of the ball. It was in Week 11 on the road against the San Diego Chargers.

Four times during the previous season, Poe was used as a decoy of sorts on offense in what was described as the “Poe-heavy” formation, but late in the first quarter against the Chargers, Poe wasn’t lined up at fullback just to be a decoy.

He took the fourth-and-1 handoff from quarterback Alex Smith and leaped into the end zone, making him, at 346 pounds, the heaviest player in NFL history to score a touchdown, edging out former Chicago Bears William “the Refrigerator” Perry (335 pounds).

“I have to give credit to the OL like a true running back would, so the OL did a great job,” Poe said with a laugh after the game.

HOW HE FITS

Poe joined fellow veterans Jaye Howard and Allen Bailey as guys who started along the defensive line last season for the Chiefs defense who will return in 2016. Poe has started 60 of the 62 games he’s played in during his four years in the league.

After adding second-round pick Chris Jones to the mix this offseason, the Chiefs defensive line should be loaded again heading into this season.

Looking at the Chiefs Defensive Linemen

Name

Pos.

Ht.

Wt.

Exp.

College

Bailey, Allen

DL

6-3

288

6

Miami (Fla.)

Howard, Jaye

DL

6-3

301

5

Florida

Jones, Chris

DL

6-3

308

R

Mississippi State

King, David

DL

6-4

281

2

Oklahoma

Nunez-Roches, Rakeem

DL

6-2

307

2

Southern Mississippi

Poe, Dontari

DL

6-3

346

5

Memphis

Staten, Jimmy

DL

6-3

311

1

Middle Tennessee State

Ta'amu, Alameda

DL

6'3

348

3

Washington

Williams, Nick

DL

6'4

309

3

Samford

2016 OUTLOOK

It’s not possible to have a successful defense without having a solid group up front in the trenches. 

Luckily for the Chiefs, the trio of Poe, Bailey and Howard have had some success in the past, and they’re hoping that continues in 2016.

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