Path to the Pros 2012: Dontari Poe

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STACK followed dozens of the NFL's top prospects as they hit the gym to get ready for the NFL Combine and beyond. In our Path to the Pros video series, we'll show you how these world-class athletes trained for the next level. Here, we feature NFL Combine sensation and fast-rising defensive tackle Dontari Poe.

Nick Winkelman, director of training systems at Athletes' Performance, insists there is nothing magical about Dontari Poe's performance at the NFL Combine.

Poe ran a 4.98 40-Yard Dash and performed well in the Three-Cone Drill (7.90 seconds) and 20-Yard Shuttle (4.56 seconds). He also demonstrated his explosiveness with a 29.5-inch Vertical Jump and 105-inch Broad Jump.

None of those numbers jump off the page—until you realize that Poe is 6'4" and weighs 346 pounds.

"There's nothing magical about it, except that man put in as much work as I've ever seen," says Winkelman. "I believe the guys who go to the Combine and extremely exceed expectations are those who have perfect attendance and attentiveness. When I say this—and I'm not lying—Dontari made every single session for the eight weeks he was here, twice a day, six days a week. He was one of the first guys on the field and blindly worked as hard as he could."

Poe says: "There's a time and place for everything, my momma always told me. When it's time to work, I work hard and do the best I can. I'm working my hardest every day, every rep, every second."

Poe is a versatile defender whose thick frame and off-the-charts athleticism could land him in the top 10 of the first round. Tune in to Round One of the NFL Draft on April 26 to see which team pulls the trigger.


Photo Credit: Getty Images // Thinkstock

Topics: FOOTBALL | DEFENSIVE LINE | PATH TO THE PROS | DEFENDER | PULLS | DRILL | NEXT LEVEL | VERTICAL JUMP | SHUTTLE