LOUISVILLE KY - SEPTEMBER 04: Bilal Powell #15 of the Louisville Cardinals throws a pass during the game against the Kentucky Wildcats at Papa John's Cardinal Stadium on September 4 2010 in Louisville Kentucky. (Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images)
The Jets surprisingly took a running back in the fourth round of the NFL Draft. The pick was Bilal Powell from Louisville. After seeing limited carries his first three years, Powell ran for 1,405 yards and a 6.1 average as a senior with 11 touchdowns. Gang Green had him into Florham Park for a visit. The powers that be apparently really liked what they saw.
He is a small back at 5'11" and 207 pounds. The word on him is that he has more power than his frame would suggest and keeps his wheels moving to fight for extra yardage. He is built thick despite the small measurables. The consensus seems to be that his agility is not great, which means he will not make many guys miss. The buzz is that he kind of seems like Shonn Greene without the second gear.
My initial reaction is that this feels like a reach. I am not opposed to taking a back in the abstract, but there is not a ton that jumps off the page about this guy.
I almost feel like this might be a move with an eye to replacing Brad Smith on special teams as Powell played on coverage units in college. It also might be LaDainian Tomlinson will not be back or that the team is either not confident in Joe McKnight or seriously thinking about moving McKnight to defensive back.
Nobody can say for sure, though. Let's hope he's the next star back.