There was a lot of fanfare for former Clemson football players Trevor Lawrence and Travis Etienne Thursday evening as both went to the Jacksonville Jaguars in the first round of the 2021 NFL Draft.
Friday night saw two more former Clemson football players, Jackson Carman and Amari Rodgers, hear their names called as well. Carman goes back to his home state of Ohio as the Bengals decided to roll the dice with him with the 46th overall pick and then beloved receiver Amari Rodgers went a round later to the Green Bay Packers.
That realistically left receiver Cornell Powell as the lone remaining Tigers NFL prospect on the board for this year’s draft.
Hard work and patience in the Clemson football program paid off
Cornell Powell had to wait his time to star for Clemson football. He was never the star but worked his tail off and stayed ready as it took five years to finally get his chance to show what he could do. Those attributes paid off as Powell had to wait until late in the fifth round to hear his name called.
While many Clemson football fans had no doubt that he would be drafted, most NFL experts considered him a fringe draft pick – meaning with an average of just under 30 receivers taken in the NFL draft each year, there was a better chance he would have to go the undrafted free agent route.
Thankfully, that is not the case.
The bright side to being drafted as late as Cornell Powell was – he gets to go play for one of the NFL’s best franchises – the Kansas City Chiefs.
He gets to play for future Hall of Fame coach Andy Reid, offensive coordinator Eric Bieniemy and receivers coach Joe Bleymaier.
He also gets the incredible opportunity to go play with quarterback and NFL MVP Patrick Mahomes, All-Pro tight end Travis Kelce, and All-Pro receiver Tyreek Hill. Mahomes and Hill are among the five best quarterback/receiver duos in the NFL.
Powell is going into a culture much like what he had in Clemson and that will help him thrive as he makes the transition.
The downside for Powell is this is going to be tough to make the active roster in Kansas City.
They currently have 13 receivers on the roster – most teams only keep six to seven, so he is going to have to fight for an active roster spot.
If there is anything that we have learned over the last five years about Cornell Powel, we learned that he is going to battle for every ball and has no issue fighting for everything he gets.