Ronald Powell NFL Draft 2014: Highlights, Scouting Report for Saints OLB

Darren PageFeatured ColumnistMarch 3, 2014

Nov 2, 2013; Jacksonville, FL, USA; Florida Gators linebacker Ronald Powell (7) reacts during the second half of the game against the Georgia Bulldogs at EverBank Field. Mandatory Credit: Rob Foldy-USA TODAY Sports
Rob Foldy-USA TODAY Sports

Ronald Powell, OLB, Florida (HT: 6’3⅛” WT: 237 lbs)

New Orleans Saints

Fifth Round: 169th Pick

Combine Workout
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Combine Workout
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  • Considerable natural athletic ability
  • Prototypical height, weight, speed combination for a rush linebacker
  • Became a stronger player during time away from the field
  • Not fooled by play design often, lets it develop and attacks
  • Has physical talents to overwhelm blockers who get out of position
  • Initial burst shows up as a blitzer from off the ball
  • Began to flash an ability to convert speed to power and bull rush
  • Can win around the corner with speed, has a second gear to accelerate past blockers
  • Rushes with a sufficient motor and cleans up on a number of coverage sacks
  • Rangy in the open field to cover ground in pursuit
  • Doesn’t run himself out of plays from the backside, defends reverses and trick plays well 
  • Played from a variety of positions in 2013
  • Significant potential and is nowhere near a finished product


  • Hesitant player who is slow to react to what he sees
  • Poor sense of timing at the snap, consistently a step slow off the ball
  • Lacks acceleration off the ball from a three-point stance
  • Little foot quickness to threaten gaps or elude blockers laterally
  • Not particularly effective changing directions in space, inflexible lower body
  • No discernible development in terms of hand usage, doesn’t utilize length
  • Doesn’t press the edge with speed as a rusher
  • Lacks flexibility to flatten out around the corner 
  • Not inventive, limited repertoire of moves
  • Doesn’t bat away or rip through the hands of pass-blockers with any functional strength
  • Needs to learn how to finish when he gets a step on a blocker
  • Lacks fluidity in hips and general footwork in space to thrive in pass coverage
  • Easily locked up by blocks taken head on
  • Can be overpowered by tight ends as a run defender
  • Loses containment regularly by letting blockers cross his face and getting sealed
  • Inconsistent tackler whose aiming point is typically too high
  • Makes a low number of high-impact or game-changing plays 
  • Little experience in pass coverage
  • Injury history
Collegiate Statistics
Credit: GatorZone.com

Personal Notes

  • A 5-star prospect as a recruit in class of 2010, ranked No. 1 overall in ESPN 150 and No. 1 by Rivals
  • Tore his ACL in 2012 spring game and again in the fall of 2012 before taking a medical redshirt 
  • Earned team’s Chris Patrick Courage Award for battling back from injuries


Ratings Chart

Graph made at nces.com.


Things haven’t gone as planned for Ronald Powell ever since he signed with Florida as a heralded recruit.  He disappointed athletically in his first few seasons.  After tearing his ACL twice, he became a stronger player.  His issues coming off the football and using his hands are big red flags, though.  There’s no doubting he has the look of an NFL linebacker, but he hasn’t shown that type of development from his freshman season at Florida until now.  At best, he’s a situational pass-rusher in the NFL.

Draft Projection: 6th-7th Round

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