FanPost

Ronald Powell: Late Round Prospect?

With the news that Ronald Powell of Florida has decided to declare for the nfl draft, I thought I'd write a little post about him.

He is currently projected to be a late round OLB/DE prospect. But he was once a top recruit. Coming off an ACL tear which saw him sit out the 2012 season, he decided to declare rather than risk more injury despite a lack of overwhelming production this year. However, he has a lot of athleticism and ability and when he has seen the field has shown the explosiveness this year that made him a top recruit a few years ago. At 6'4" and 244lbs, he fits into the mold of that speedy edge rusher Rex has been attempting to develop and as he'll be one year removed from tearing his ACL he is an ideal candidate to have his best years ahead of him should he manage to stay healthy. After seeing Ricky Sapp never really stay healthy enough to put it together and the utter failure that was Aaron Maybin, maybe third time is the charm (or 4th if you want to count Gholston which I don't). Powell looks like a good developmental project who could come in and contribute on special teams. In other words an ideal candidate to take a later round flyer on. Around the web, he is currently slated to be drafted somewhere between the 4th and 6th rounds.

Check out his cutups from this year and 2011 over at DraftBreakdown. Towards the end of the 3rd quarter of the Miami game, he shows a quick inside move combined with his spin move to take down Stephen Morris for a sack. Later in the year against Georgia, he seems to play with a little more confidence and comfort. At the 2:30 mark, he shows good bend around the edge, coming from a 3-point stance, to pressure Murray into overthrowing his receiver. And on the very next play, Powell shows off his speed rushing from the inside linebacker spot causing an intentional grounding penalty. I think he also shows good discipline against the run and has some ability to set the edge, especially if you watch the cutup from 2011 against FSU. If he can stay healthy and gain confidence further removed from his injuries, I think he could be a very good player at outside linebacker setting the edge opposite Coples on early downs and rushing the passer either from the outside or occasionally from the inside linebacker spot which he shows good ability at.

He plays both with his hand in the dirt and from a 2-point stance, but displays good speed on the edge and the athleticism that makes him a good candidate to operate out in space as a SAM linebacker in the Jets' fronts. With so many late round picks available, I would like to see a few guys like this brought in, who have big upside and can contribute immediately to special teams. Let me know what you think of him and if you think of any other similar players who are worth a look.

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