Dontari Poe is the big signing of the year for the Atlanta Falcons, and we’ve talked plenty about how good he can be and how capable he is of being a major upgrade for a Falcons defensive tackle group that lacked depth and top-end talent at times this past season.
Did you also know that Poe played the greater share of his team’s snaps than anyone with the Falcons who played DT a year ago? By an insanely wide margin?
dontari poe had 7 games last season where he played at least 80% of the defensive snaps. no falcons interior DL had a single game with 80%.— charles mcdonald (@FourVerts) July 23, 2017
We’ve argued before that Poe is not going to be as heavily relied upon as he was in Kansas City, but the fact that the Falcons can rely on him is extremely comforting. Grady Jarrett only played 70% of his team’s snaps once all last year, and as good as he figures to be this season, he’ll rotate out fairly regularly. Ra’Shede Hageman and the team’s cast of split-timers at defensive end/defensive tackle should fill in the rest of the snaps. By virtue of both his size and his ability to play a lot of snaps, Poe could be the true anchor for this line that he is being paid to be.
The only question, really, is what Poe’s role is going to look like under Dan Quinn, and how he’ll fare now that he’s lost some weight. But his track record certainly gives us reason for optimism.