Crennel Excited Fans Not So Much

DT Dontari Poe

You wouldn't know it by watching Chiefs twitter feeds or by being out at the KC Pavilion out at Arrowhead Stadium for the Chiefs Draft Party. But just three weeks ago, Dontari Poe was the talk of the NFL Combine and one of the sexiest picks overall. Now some aren't so sure.

Fast forward a few weeks of speculation and scouting breakdowns and many draft experts had Poe falling late in the first round or even dropping into the second round. Thanks to the Chiefs, however, Poe need not worry about that draft day nightmare.

The biggest knock on Poe was his inability to produce in a non-BCS conference at Memphis and even failing to make the All-Conference USA 1st team.

But here's the upside.

Poe is an athletic freak considering his 6-3 346-pound frame. He has great explosiveness and was the star of the NFL combine after lifting 225-pound forty-four times good which was the best of the combines 330-plus participants.

Walking into the pressroom shortly after the pick of Poe was announced, Chiefs Head Coach Romeo Crennel, quickly noticed the steadily growing negative vibes coming from the pressroom. Though Crennel encouraged the bulk of Kansas City media to chipper-up on the pick, the Chiefs Skipper could not hide his excitement.

"I'm excited about the pick guy. You should be too," Crennel said.

However, Crennel's excitement could not sway the near 4000 in attendance at the Chiefs Season Ticket holder Draft Day Party from showing their displeasure with the pick. Most in attendance booed the pick and the rest simply walked out.

Though the season ticket holders were not initially impressed, Crennel's excitement and optimism over Poe is contagious.

Despite rocketing up draft boards post-combine, Crennel says the Chiefs scouts had him pegged as the best defensive lineman prior. Crennel pointed to Poe's versatility and ability to create pressure up the middle of the defense as a couple of the main reasons for why Poe was their guy.

Crennel offered some optimistic paths for most jaded of Chiefs fans, saying Poe played multiple positions on the line and was never allowed to hone his craft at a single position. Given that Poe was more involved with his high school band than he was with the football team when he started his 9th grade season, this excuse for Poe's lack of production could hold some weight.

The Chiefs spent much of the 2011 season in various sub-packages and rarely display their "base" 3-4 defense. This may have had something to do with not having the personnel in the middle of the defensive line and the addition of Poe gives Crennel options with his game planning he might not have otherwise had.

Poe is a three-down lineman that spent nearly every defensive snap on the field at Memphis. This too could explain Poe's perception of disappearing late in games.

The Chiefs have been desperate for a true nose tackle since switching to the 3-4 defense three years ago and on Thursday night they took the best available in 2012. After years of clamoring for just that, it's a bit surprising to see the bitter reaction from Chiefs Nation.

But either way you sit on this draft pick, you have to admit it was a bold move by the Chiefs. And in the end, that might say a lot of how close this organization believes it is to becoming a consistent winner.

Will it be High Risk or High Reward for Chiefs and Poe?

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