Dec 28, 2014; Kansas City, MO, USA; Kansas City Chiefs defensive end Allen Bailey (97) is congratulated by nose tackle Dontari Poe (92) after sacking San Diego Chargers quarterback Philip Rivers (17) (not pictured) during the second half at Arrowhead Stadium. The Chiefs won 19-7. Mandatory Credit: Denny Medley-USA TODAY Sports
ROUND SIX: Nose Tackle
Dontari Poe is a beast, no question. Aside from Justin Houston, Poe may be the most valuable part of the defense and the pass rush the Chiefs create.
The issues with Poe has always been about his snap count. Poe is consistently one of the most used nose tackles in the league. Poe has ranked first in the NFL in snaps for an interior defensive lineman in each of the last two seasons, and has never played less than 750 snaps in a season. Consider that only five defensive tackles played more than 750 snaps for their team last season.
Getting Poe breaks has to be a priority for the Chiefs. Playing nearly 1,000 snaps per season isn’t only going to effect the quality of his performance but also put him at higher risk for injury as his career progresses. Finding a guy who can give the Chiefs a quality 300-400 snaps per season to let Poe rest or take some blockers off of him is something the Chiefs have to find.
One option for the Chiefs is to sign Dan Williams, a former first round pick of the Arizona Cardinals who may be a free agent this March. We discussed him a little bit in a previous post and what he could bring to the team.
Whether it is Williams or someone else, Kansas City has to find a way to get Poe off the field in low leverage plays. The more they can save his legs, the more likely the Chiefs will get the best out of Poe (theoretically).
One thing for sure is the Chiefs absolutely need Poe to be healthy and at the top of his game if the Chiefs’ defense is going to operate at optimal efficiency. How they go about doing that is up to Dorsey, Andy Reid, and Bob Sutton, but a quality back up nose guard would seem to be the easiest way to solve that problem.
Next: Round Seven