NT Poe visits, could be Steelers No. 1 pick
Memphis defensive lineman Dontari Poe == 6 feet 4, 346 pounds == is considered the best nose tackle in the draft.
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The Steelers waited until the final day to meet with the player who could be their first pick in the NFL draft.
Memphis nose tackle Dontari Poe was among five players who visited the Steelers Wednesday -- the last day draft prospects are allowed to meet with NFL teams -- and there is a possibility it could be the first of his many trips inside the team's South Side facility.
Poe, 6 feet 4, 346 pounds, is considered the best nose tackle in the draft next week. And nose tackle is one of two positions in the Steelers defense -- a replacement for James Farrior at inside linebacker is the other -- that could be immediately addressed with the top pick.
Five-time Pro Bowl nose tackle Casey Hampton is coming off surgery to his anterior cruciate ligament and is likely in his final year with the Steelers.
- What: The first round of the NFL draft.
- When: 8 p.m. April 26.
- TV: ESPN & NFL Network.
- Steelers: Select 24th in the first round.
- Of note: Rounds 2-3 begin 7 p.m. April 27 and Rounds 4-7 begin noon April 28.
Hampton reworked his contract recently and accepted a pay cut in exchange for a return for one more season with the Steelers.
Also visiting the Steelers Wednesday were tight end Adrien Robinson of Cincinnati, offensive lineman Kelvin Beachum of Southern Methodist and wide receivers Toney Clemons of Colorado (Valley High School) and Gregory Childs of Arkansas.
Poe's stock soared after being a workout wonder at the scouting combine in Indianapolis.
He ran a 4.98 in the 40-yard dash, did a combine-best 44 reps in the 225-pound bench and had a 29 1/2-inch vertical jump.
Poe can bench-press 500 pounds, squat 700 and power-clean 400.
It is possible Poe could be available to the Steelers with the 24th overall pick because a lot of NFL coaches and personnel people think he needs another season to develop. There is also some concern that Poe tends to take plays off and doesn't play up to his ability.
But he has such raw power and explosion he could become a dominating player in the league.
First Published April 19, 2012 12:00 am