The Kanas City Chiefs selected wide receiver Cornell Powell from the Clemson Tigers in the fifth round, pick 181, in this year’s NFL draft.
Powell is a 6 foot 204 pound WR, who looks like he was carved out of granite. He is put together and has a build that is not like the other WRs already on the Chiefs roster. Even with Powell’s size, he still ran a 4.47 40 yard dash at his pro-day.
Powell’s career at Clemson was an interesting one, to say the least. He was a four-star recruit coming out of high school. Unfortunately, even with all that talent, he was able to start only one season for the Tigers. That year finally came in his fifth year at Clemson where he tallied 53 catches and 882 yards.
Powell does have a good build, and some good linear speed, however, he does lack some wiggle like the other wide receivers on the Chiefs roster. He also isn’t great against the press and struggles to create separation at times. He will need to win at the catch point, which he does a nice job at.
The Chiefs staff was quoted as saying he, “will be that post up WR,” and ” he will play in Sammy’s (Watkins) role.” Is he going to be good enough to beat out guys like Demarcus Robinson, Byron Pringle, and Mecole Hardman is the big question?
The simple answer to that is, no. Not right away, at least.
Powell isn’t going to be the number two WR this coming season for Kansas City right from the jump. I would expect Hardman to get the first crack at it with Robinson and Pringle getting in the mix as well. By the end of last year, all three guys were basically splitting reps. They invested a high pick in Hardman and they need him to continue to improve and take the next step in the upcoming year. The coaches and front office have come out and shown a lot of backing and confidence in the development of both Pringle and Hardman,
Robinson has been the starter in years past and just signed a one-year deal with KC. Having him on the roster is a good insurance policy and someone who knows the playbook. His experience in the offense is a good luxury to have as Powell gets up to speed.
Powell may eventually see reps at WR, but I wouldn’t expect them early. His athletic profile has a special teamer written all over him though. He will be a guy that is on multiple special teams units and will eventually work his way into some reps on the offensive side of the ball. He is a great guy to have on the roster and could eventually be the starting X wide receiver in Kansas City.
There is going to be a lot of competition for the WR spot opposite Hill. Luckily, Powell is not a guy that will shy away from competition. He is a relentless worker and a high character player, by all accounts. If he continues to develop as he did at the end of his career at Clemson, he could end up being a steal in this draft.
Overall, I think it was a good pick by Kansas City. Powell is a physical specimen with starting upside. He may not be the immediate starter, but he will compete right away and likely be on every special team’s unit.