2012 NFL Scouting Combine: Eyes will be on Memphis NT Dontari Poe's Workout

The Baltimore Ravens were named after famed writer and Baltimorean Edgar Allan Poe.

Some are comparing the size and strength of Memphis junior defensive tackle Dontari Poe to Ravens DL Haloti Ngata.

Seems fitting, then, the Steelers would want to draft the 6-foot-4, 346-pound block-eating behemoth with the No. 24 pick in April's draft.

The question surrounding Poe is whether his impressive weight room statistics can translate into an equally impressive player on the field.

Few disagree Poe's size will make him a valuable 0-technique nose tackle in a 3-4 scheme. His strength will give him the ability to occupy inside blockers, a key trait of a nose tackle in that defense.

The questions are focused around his ability to do more than that, which leads to questions around whether he's worth a pick as high as the 24th in the first round.

Poe was something of a surprise to declare for this year's draft. Considering his strength and size, it's fair to question why he didn't completely destroy people in a non-BCS conference. That brings in the ultimate draft buzzword, "Upside."

There simply aren't very many people on earth with Poe's size who can do what he can do. Considering it's an instrumental position for a 3-4 base defense, and the age and injury situation of NT Casey Hampton leaving that position in doubt for the Steelers for the first time since Casey Hampton took over in 2001 (probably earlier than that, even), the Steelers have to ask themselves if they can risk using a first round pick - or at least the 24th pick - on a player with less of a chance to see the field his rookie year than a lot of the other guys they could draft.

Drafting Poe would give the Steelers their fourth consecutive first-round selection of a lineman (Cameron Heyward, Maurkice Pouncey and Ziggy Hood) with three of the last four going along the defensive line.

Teams can expect Poe to show very well in the workouts today, the bench press in particular. He reportedly can bench 500 pounds, squat 700 pounds and power-cleaning 400 pounds.

As Steelers general manager Kevin Colbert said, most positions, teams will want a three-down guy, but a nose tackle in a 3-4 is kind of an exception to that rule. If they do go with a guy who most likely would contribute on first and second down, but not consistently until 2013, he has to be special and unique.

Poe's workout with help determine whether he is that guy.

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