The Eagles reportedly have their sights set on Dontari Poe in the draft. The Eagles have been tied to Fletcher Cox and Ryan Tannehill throughout the draft process but when was the last time the Eagles made their draft plans public? It won’t be someone we expect and Dontari Poe came from out of left field.
The source? Al Fronczak of East Coast Sports who claims to have over twenty years of experience scouting the draft and that “his mock draft has finished in the top 10, out of the top 100 media mocks, for three out of the last five years, and his 2011 Top 100 Board finished third-overall in the country”. Last year he nailed 8 of the first 10 selections in the draft including the Jake Locker to Tennessee pick. Here is what he said:
There have been plenty of rumors lately regarding the Philadelphia Eagles interest in trading up for either Texas A&M QB Ryan Tannehill or Mississippi State DT Fletcher Cox, however the prospect the Eagles are really targeting is Memphis DT Dontari Poe according to a trusted league source.
It would certainly make sense if Poe was a target, he fits a number of Eagles trends. The Eagles have spent six of their first selections of defensive linemen, four of which were defensive tackles. And the Eagles have drafted three of the top six bench press performers in the past decade (Jeff Owens, Brodrick Bunkley and Scott Young). Dontari Poe fits both trends having played defensive tackle at Memphis and put up 44 bench press reps at the combine (4th best mark since 2006).
The Eagles need a space eating nose tackle who doesn’t have to be pulled off the field on passing downs. The 1 technique is the most important player in the wide nine scheme, the Titans were most effective when Albert Haynesworth was eating up the middle of the field and keeping the linebackers clean. Having a defensive tackle who demands a double team (and won’t get blown off his spot by that double team) really helps the linebackers. The Eagles do not currently have that player on their roster.
And to add to this idea that Poe is secretly the Eagles primary target, Fletcher Co… I mean Dontari Poe visited the Eagles a couple weeks back and this is what Jim Washburn had to say:
“Y’all know Fletcher Cox”
The Eagles are so interested in keeping their interest in Poe on the down low that Jim Washburn tried to pull a fast one and pretend that Dontari Poe was Fletcher Cox. And at the same time Tony Pauline has “scoops” that flat out say the Eagles want to trade up for Fletcher Cox and that Jim Washburn “really” liked him. Uh… In the words of Jordan Ranaan:
All these Fletcher Cox to Eagles leaks make me think it's smokescreen. Eagles been very secretive w/draft picks and FA signings over years.
— Jordan Raanan (@JordanRaanan) April 18, 2012
And in the words of Michael Schottey…
I think Dontari Poe will go Top 10, but if he falls to Philadelphia and Jim Washburn, the NFL needs to watch out.
— Michael Schottey (@Schottey) March 1, 2012
Poe could be an absolute force under Jim Washburn. I’d fully support this move.