Terry Poole’s dreams for playing in the NFL took a different path than what the then high school junior envisioned. Wanting to play defensive tackle, his Seaside High coach convinced him that he was an offensive lineman. Personal issues and failing grades prevented him from playing both football and basketball as a senior. With no film to send recruiters, he packed his bags and enrolled at Monterey Peninsula College, remaining a force on the offensive line for two years.
As a right tackle for San Diego State, Poole started twelve games in 2013, having sat out the previous season to adjust to the Aztecs run-oriented offensive scheme. He was a “quick study,” posting 59 knockdowns and nine touchdown-resulting blocks while allowing just two sacks. The first-team All-MWC choice in 2014 did not let any opponent get to the San Diego State quarterbacks, even though he was adjusting to a new position as a left tackle.
Poole has a linear frame with good upper body length in his arms and good width in his chest, but has the ability to add at least another 20 pounds of bulk without it impacting his impressive quickness. The former high school basketball center/power forward shows good initial quickness to engage and reach his pass set point. He plays on his feet with good balance and has above average lower body flexibility when redirecting.
Poole has good mobility to stay with his man, and last season, you saw a temperament change, as he showed more determination to finish and play with more aggression. He gets into his blocks quickly, thanks to above average knee bend and his natural foot quickness. He can be sudden out of his stance and quickly fits into his blocks. Even when he is late off the snap, he shows good adjustment skills on the move (very good leading on outside sweeps).
The Aztec has good initial quickness to slide, drop back and anchor in one-on-one confrontations with edge rushers. He also has the upper body power needed to stall bull rushers, which will be a requirement if he makes an expected move to guard. He will position and wall off with good desire and makes every effort to control the speedy edge rushers with his long reach. When he gets in front of his man, he uses his body effectively to stop the oncoming charge, and takes good advantage of his power base to anchor and prevent himself from getting pushed back vs. the bull rushers.
Poole is able to gain position quickly off the snap and use his body to wall when leading on outside runs. With his tall frame and impressive strength, he has done a nice job working with other linemen to push the edge action in-line and his nimble feet allow him to make adjustments in space. He uses his body well to turn and drive out a defender, thanks to him developing a much better strong hand punch and placement to control skills as a senior than he showed the previous season.
Poole is good at making blocks for the outside running game, but thanks to his quickness and loose hips, coupled with his power, he should have no problems in attempt to root out defenders working in-line as a guard. He is able to gain initial position on second level defenders, as he has developed a good concept for angling. He has the loose hips to do a good job of taking side blocks to shock and jolt a defender. Because of his hip snap, he could be a quality trap blocker, as he gets out front in an instant on pulls and his acceleration does not tail off running long distances.
Terry Poole NFL Scouting Combine measurables
6-5/307 (5.09 forty)
33 1/4-inch arm length
9 1/2-inch hands
31-inch vertical jump
113-inch broad jump
7.90 3 cone drill
4.66 20 yard shuttle
Dave-Te’ Thomas is a sports writer, talent evaluator and scouting personnel consultant for a majority of teams in the National Football League. Thomas runs a scouting information service called NFL Scouting Services and produces THE NFL Draft Report, a publication provided by league headquarters to the media in preparation for the NFL Draft.
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