The Jets have had good fourth-round fortune during the past decade and they hope that magic continues with their fourth-round pick of the 2011 NFL Draft of Louisville running back Bilal Powell.
“It’s a great feeling right now,” Powell told Jets reporters a short while ago, “just to get the opportunity at a great organization and having the chance to play under Rex Ryan.”
Powell (5’11″, 207), who was one of the Jets’ prospect visitors earlier this month, had a breakout season in 2010 — in fact, one of the best seasons of rushing in Louisville history. He rushed for 1,405 yards, second-most in school history, on 229 carries, a 6.1 per-carry average, and 11 touchdowns. His 117.08 yards per game was 11th in the nation.
“We had a new coach come in. My role changed,” he explained. “
He reeled off nine games of 100 yards plus in his 12 games as a senior, including a pair of 200-yarders, against Memphis and Cincinnati. He also added 18 receptions for 158 yards (8.8 average). All of that added up to All-Big East first-team honors and some All-America recognition.
Powell said his strengths are “being able to catch the ball out of the backfield, being able to run the ball inside and outside, being able to contribute on special teams, too.”
Powell turned in a 4.52 in the 40 during campus agility tests and also had a 32-inch vertical leap and a 9’6″ long jump.
He starred on both sides of the line at Lake Gibson High in Lakeland, Fla., and was originally recruited to Louisville as a DB. But he played very little defense once he arrived on campus. His returning was limited to kickoffs his first two years.
In recent years the Jets with their fourth-round picks have taken WR Jerricho Cotchery (2004), S Kerry Rhodes (2005), WR/KR Brad Smith and RB/KR Leon Washington (2006) and CB-S Dwight Lowery (2008). The Jets are optimistic that last year’s pick of RB Joe McKnight will also pay fourth-round dividends.
The selection, the 29th of the round today and the 126th of the draft, was announced in Radio City Music Hall by Sergio Piccinich from Harrington Park, N.J., the winner of the Jets Draft Dream Sweepstakes. We’ll have more on Sergio’s experience on Monday.
Tags: Bilal Powell, Louisville Cardinals, Sergio Piccinich
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