Steve: Saints rookie profiles - Ronald Powell
Looking at Ronald Powell, he is a guy that just looks like a football player. He is 6-foot-3, 237 pounds but I would swear his chiseled frame stands taller than some of these mountains here in West Virginia.
Now, size doesn’t necessarily make a player good (Martez Wilson), but Powell definitely has a ton of upside. He was the consensus #1 defensive end recruit in the nation coming out of high school in California and opted to come to the SEC and play for the Florida Gators.
He played all 13 games as a true freshman in 2010 and tallied 26 tackles, three for loss and a sack with two pass breakups. Then in 2011 he started 12 games totaling 32 tackles, 9 for a loss and 6 sacks while forcing a fumble. The one game Powell missed was due to an upper-body injury he suffered against LSU and forced him to miss the Gator’s game against Auburn. The injury bug was just beginning.
Powell missed the entire 2012 season after tearing his left ACL twice. That's a brutal injury to deal with - twice - and something to be concerned about going forward. He managed to come back in '13 to play in 8 games and managed 26 tackles, 7 for loss and 4 sacks.
Then, Powell strained his left hamstring running the 40-yard dash at the NFL Scouting Combine, and did not participate in drills or run shuttles and the 3-cone drill. He did manage to run the fastest 40 out of any outside linebacker before getting hurt, registering a 4.56.
While Powell has a good shot at earning some playing time on defense this year for the Saints, he knows that special teams are still the key to getting on the field.
"It's a very important phase of the game, and I'm trying to be a part of that," Powell said. "I think it's all about 'want to.' Whenever you take pride in this game, it's something that I'm going to be good at because I want to do it, and I'm going to try my best to do it and get the job done."
The heart and skill are definitely there for Powell, now we’ll have to see if he can just stay on the field.