Three Round Chiefs Mock Leads With Dontari Poe

The 2012 NFL Draft will kick off in a week and as we get closer to the first pick being announced, the mock drafts are getting longer. The latest to expand their mock to multiple rounds in ESPN’s Mel Kiper.

In his latest stab at projecting the picks, Kiper went three rounds deep and led things off for the Kansas City Chiefs with Dontari Poe from Memphis.

Rd 1 (11) DT Dontari Poe
Rd 2 (44) G Amini Silatolu
Rd 3 (74) NT Alameda Ta’amu

Analysis: The Chiefs really need a nose tackle, and while Poe is not yet a finished product, and might even be as good or more successful in a 4-3, it’s really hard to pass on his potential at this spot on the board. Guard is a huge need for the Chiefs, and I’m going to take one of my favorite sleepers in the draft with Silatolu here. He’ll be able to help them early, and anything the Chiefs can do to invigorate the run game will be key. Ta’amu is a wide body and good insurance piece for the Chiefs at NT. In fact, I can see Poe and him on the field at the same time.

I’ve been clear about my lack of interest in Poe for the Chiefs. His performance against lesser competition at Memphis has me scared to death and no one has been able to convince me otherwise. Plenty of potential, but I’d feel a lot more comfortable if another team in the top half of the first round took the gamble.

Silatolu is an interesting choice to sit for a year with an eye towards taking over as a starter at guard in 2013. His name has bounced around college circles for a while as he almost played for a couple Division I programs before having to settle at Midwestern State. Unlike Poe, Silatolu dominated at a lower level and is an intriguing name to watch in the second round.

If Poe is indeed the pick, I have a hard time imagining Ta’amu would be in the Chiefs plans. Slide in a more proven player (at any position) with the No. 11 pick and the big man from Washington will be in play in the third or fourth rounds.

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