By Alex Barth, 985TheSportsHub.com
With no NFL Combine this offseason, individual Pro Days will hold bigger significance in the pre-draft process. Friday may have been the biggest Pro Day of them all, taking place in Clemson, South Carolina.
Clemson will be the center of the NFL Draft discussion for the next few months, touting consensus first-overall pick Trevor Lawrence. While the Tigers have a handful of players expected to go in this year’s draft, Lawrence was one of only two players to participate in the workout. Joining him was wide receiver Cornell Powell.
According to Albert Breer of SI, 31 scouts were in attendance, representing 17 NFL teams. That includes the Patriots, who sent two staffers.
Were the Patriots in Clemson to watch Trevor Lawrence? Maybe. They do like to be thorough in their pre-draft process. However, Powell is more of an eyebrow raiser when it comes to New England.
Cornell Powell, goodness! Beast mode activated. pic.twitter.com/AYhUgSQKyP— The Comeback (@thecomeback) November 8, 2020
The 6-foot, 210 pound receiver is coming off of a breakout senior year which saw him catch 53 passes for 882 yards and seven touchdowns. Coming off of a strong Senior Bowl as well, he’s currently projected to be a fifth-round pick.
Powell checks a lot of boxes for the Patriots at wide receiver. He’s big, and knows how to use his size at the top of routes. Powell is more quick than fast, and is a strong hands catcher who can pick up yards after the catch.
Production (or lack thereof) is Powell’s biggest red flag – he played at least eight games in three seasons of his five at Clemson, but failed to make an impact until his redshirt senior year. Granted, he had elite competition to beat out on the depth chart, but it’s an offense that is built for a receiver like him to succeed.
Many fans probably want to see the Patriots take a receiver well before the 150-overll range Powell is expected to go in. If the Patriots do want to wait on a wideout though – or if they want to double dip after taking one early – Powell is a name to watch.
Clemson players who sat out the Pro Day include running back Travis Etienne, wide receiver Amari Rodgers, and tackle Jackson Carman.
Alex Barth is a writer and digital producer for 985TheSportsHub.com. Any opinions expressed do not necessarily reflect those of 98.5 The Sports Hub, Beasley Media Group, or any subsidiaries. Thoughts? Comments? Questions? Looking for a podcast guest? Let him know on Twitter @RealAlexBarth or via email at Alexander.Barth@bbgi.com.