Throughout the offseason, we’ll be profiling players who may end up in Denver when all is said and done with NFL Free Agency. The Broncos clearly have plenty of holes to fill before they get back to Super-Bowl form and we’ll be examining a long list of players they may choose to help the franchise do just that.
The 6-foot-3, 346-pound nose tackle is one of the most athletic players in the entire NFL. Yes, that’s right—athletic. Not only has Dontari Poe rushed for a touchdown and thrown a touchdown—in Tim Tebow fashion against the Denver Broncos last season—he ran a 4.98 40-yard dash at the combine in 2012.
Poe’s athleticism has translated well on the field in the first five years of his career as a member of the Kansas City Chiefs—earning two trips to the Pro Bowl in 2013 and 2014. The 11th overall pick in the 2012 draft, Poe is set to hit the free agent market as one of the best defensive tackles available, specializing as a nose tackle in a 3-4 defensive scheme.
The University of Memphis product clogs up the middle of the field by taking on double teams as a true run stuffing nose tackle. Along with stuffing the run, in 2013 and 2014 Poe was one of the best big men to get after the quarterback as he complied 10.5 total sacks in those two years.
Along with being an impact player along the line, the former first-round pick is incredibly durable, especially for a player of his stature. In 2013, Poe played the most snaps out of all of the defensive tackles in the league and is consistently among the league leaders in that department. Additionally, Poe has only missed two games in his career, playing in the other 78.
Although Poe started the first three years of his career incredibly well, he has tapered off the past two seasons. After compiling 10.5 sacks in 2013 and 2014, he only totaled 2.5 in 2015 and 2016.
As the 16th best free agent available according to Gregg Rosenthal, Poe is expected to draw a big money contract in whichever city he lands. If he plays like he did in his two Pro Bowl years he would be worth the money. If not, he would likely be overpaid.
How he fits in Denver
If Poe were to come to Denver, not only would it keep him from throwing touchdowns against the Broncos, it would instantly help shore up the run defense—Denver’s biggest weakness on the defensive side of the ball.
Poe would be a replacement and upgrade from last year’s nose tackle Sylvester Williams, but would come at a significantly higher cost. By adding the big man, Denver would not only be upgrading their defensive line, they would be taking Poe away from a division foe.