Draft Talk

!Poe led all combine participants in the bench-press, putting up 225 pounds 44 times.

What type of defensive tackle do you see yourself being in the NFL?
POE: I see myself as someone who can rush the passer a lot more than people think. I am used to playing nose tackle and the 3-technique and I've played some 5-technique. I'm pretty comfortable anywhere on the defensive line.

How would you describe your game?
POE: I think I'm explosive, very explosive. That's probably my biggest strength. Most people think just because I'm big I do nothing but power (inaudible) you, things like that. I try to use my quickness to my advantage.

Is it important for a defensive tackle to be more than a run stopper?
POE: Yeah. It's become more important because the NFL is becoming a passing league. But if you can't stop the run you're in a pretty bad situation. You have to be able to do both.

What things do you feel you need to work on?
POE: Just overall consistency. I need to maintain my level of play throughout the course of a whole game. That's probably the biggest thing.

Talk about the comparisons you've gotten with (Pittsburgh DT) Casey Hampton.
POE: It's a great feeling because everyone knows he's a great player, Pro Bowl-caliber player. He has been for a long time in the NFL. To be compared to him is a positive.

So you've followed Casey's game?
POE: I've always followed him. I'm pretty into football a lot. D-tackles, I look at them a lot. Being one of the best as he has been for a long time, I followed him for a long time.

What specifically do you like about Hampton's game?
POE: He's aggressive. He's one of the more aggressive defensive tackles this league has seen. His hand strength. Once he gets his hands on you, he kind of controls you. That's probably what I admire most about him.

What other tackles do you like?
POE:Him, I like Ndamukong Suh. I think he's very aggressive. Haloti Ngata. A lot of defensive tackles in this day and age are very good, which forces us to kind of step our game up.

Do you feel more comfortable in a 4-3 defense or a 3-4?
POE: Really I'm used to both. We played both in college. Either or would probably be good for me. I'm comfortable playing either or. It's really not a big deal.

What do you think teams want you to play?
POE: I don't really know yet. Most people kind of see me as a 3-4 nose tackle, which is cool with me because I like that position as well. I like to think that I'm versatile and I can play multiple positions.

You played some 5-technique at Memphis?
POE: In all our three-downs because our end got hurt. It forced me to move out. My coach told me. I had to learn the position. It felt pretty comfortable. It wasn't anything abnormal. I'm pretty used to it.

How important will it be to hear your name called in the NFL Draft?
POE: Yeah. It's always been a dream. Back in high school we used to look at it and think it was so far away. But now at the end of my college career and getting this opportunity, it's a blessing and it's a dream come true. But it's also a job and a business. It has become a reality. I'm getting used to it as I go.

You know your way around a weight room?
POE: Yeah, a little bit. I love the weight room. It's something I got into in high school because people always used to say college players are way bigger, faster, stronger. When you get to college, they say the NFL is way bigger, faster, stronger. I never let up on it. I'm self, intrinsically motivated to do it. Football is the most fun part about it.

Do you think you're playing weight will remain around 345 pounds?
POE: Yeah, I feel comfortable at it. If a team that I go to wants me to go down, that's no problem either. I can do that. I feel comfortable. (Last year) I played at around 340, 346 to about 351. Just what a team needs I can do it.

Why did you go to Memphis?
POE: I'm from Memphis. Born and raised in Memphis. I kind of felt like it would be the best decision for me at that time to stay at home and go to that school. For my family to be able to see me play each and every Saturday I thought it was a blessing and it turned out to be a blessing in disguise.

Did you get other offers?
POE: Yes, I did. I got offers from the big schools, but some things happened and I chose to go to Memphis.

Do you think it was hard to get noticed playing at Memphis?
POE: I think it speaks for itself. People say you have to go to a big school to get noticed, but the NFL is a broad league so they'll find talent wherever it is. I didn't think that was a big problem.

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