Also, exhibits a violet slap when asked to disengage and has some suddenness to his game off the line. Keeps his pad level down through the play, pumps his legs and consistently is able to fight his way through contact once he gains a step. However, once a defender can get into his frame, he struggles to use his hands to disengage quickly and can be kept at bay if he doesn't win with his initial burst.
Is a physical run defender inside who is tough to move off the ball. Consistently is able to drive his way into the backfield and overwhelm opposing linemen at the point. Possesses a good blend of initial burst and power, and because of his ability to play with leverage through contact he's able to eat up space/blockers inside when run at.
Seems to be playing a lot harder this year as well, makes more plays in pursuit on hustle and motor seems to be running a lot higher than in years past. Now, needs to do a better job keeping his legs clean from cut blocks, as he ends up on the ground too often on plays away from his frame. Also, has a tendency to get overextended with his upper body when trying to push his way into the backfield, limiting his effectiveness when asked to quickly shed and make a play on the ball carrier.
Isn't the most instinctive of guys either. Struggles to consistently find the football inside and will take himself out of his fair share of run plays trying to create behind the line. Played a lot more of the three-technique this year, and his skill set makes him much better suite to play the nose. Has some character concerns as well having to do with his grades, weight and overall maturity level. Plus, he's older than most prospects at 24-years old.
Impression: A nice wide-bodied player who can hold the point and push the pocket. But, he isn't real instinctive, there are some character concerns and being an older prospect, just is too risky for me to take at some point in round one."
Powe impressed with his big-play potential. While only seeing a handful of snaps per game in 2008, Powe registered 3.5 tackles for loss, 1.5 sacks and an interception to go along with eight tackles.
Starting 10 of 13 games at nose tackle for the Rebels in '09, Powe emerged as a star, earning second-team All-SEC accolades after posting 34 tackles, 12 tackles for loss and three sacks. After such troubles gaining academic clearance, many expected Powe to gladly leave school early for the pros. Instead, he came back for his senior season and is on pace to graduate with a criminal justice degree in May.
Academically it was a good decision. In terms of his NFL stock, Powe's decision can be scrutinized. With opponents focusing their blocking schemes around stopping him, Powe struggled to make much of an impact in 2010. He again earned second-team All-SEC honors, but produced only 27 tackles, 8.5 tackles for loss and 2.5 sacks.
Powe's girth and strength make him an ideal candidate to line up on the nose in the NFL. Considering the number of pro teams switching to the 3-4 alignment, Powe should have plenty of suitors. Essentially just a run-stuffer, he might fall to the middle portion of the draft, meaning he'll hear his name called on the second or third day of the event.
Pass Rush: Provides only a minimal pass rush. Has at least moderate initial quickness off the snap, but relies on size and power, not agility or technique to rush the passer. Good bull rush to push the blocker into the pocket. Provides good effort in lateral pursuit, but tires and is outrun easily.
Run Defense: Short, squatty build conducive to stuffing the run. Comes off the snap low and hard, giving blockers a small target. Anchors well, even against double-teams, due to his girth and excellent lower-body strength. Creates a pile, opening up opportunities for easy tackles for teammates. Good power and vision to locate the football to stack and shed. Limited agility to chase down ballcarriers, but is surprisingly balanced working down the line to push them toward the sideline.
Explosion: Flashes an explosive initial burst, but is very inconsistent. Possesses explosive upper-body strength to rock offensive linemen back with his initial punch. Can walk the blocker deep into the pocket on his bull rush.
Strength: Good strength and use of leverage to hold his ground. Good upper-body strength to stack and shed blocks and has a good bull rush capable of collapsing the pocket. Strong enough to drag down some ballcarriers while engaged with blockers.
Tackling: A typical collision-style and drag-down hitter inside. Stacks and sheds at the point of attack and is able to catch and drag down ballcarriers quickly. Flashes some explosiveness as a hitter when he's given room to build momentum. Relies on his mass and strength to knock down the ballcarrier. Allows slippery and/or strong runners to escape because he doesn't wrap securely.
Intangibles: Older prospect; will be a 24-year-old rookie. Signed with Ole Miss out of high school in 2005, but struggled to gain academic clearance and was denied academic eligibility by the NCAA on three separate occasions. Wasn't able to fully participate until the 2008 season. Diagnosed with dyslexia and has gained help through a tutoring program."
The Wayne County High School graduate was once ranked as high as the #4 defensive lineman in the nation, and a five star recruit by Scout.com. Powe played in a handful of games as a sophomore before starting in each of his last two positions at nose tackle.
Powe was one of the strongest players on the entire Ole Miss football team. He is a big body who gets an excellent push up the middle and has an uncanny ability to take up his space. He gets off of the ball quickly, and has a great initial punch on the offensive lineman. He fills gaps with ease, and his mix of size and strength forces double teams upon him. Powe does a nice job of getting his hands up to deflect passes and uses his hands well, not allowing much separation between himself the offensive lineman.
His overall athleticism is somewhat lacking. He doesn’t move very well laterally, and doesn’t have very quick feet. Powe isn’t much of a penetrator or pass rusher. He doesn’t have great instincts and doesn’t fare very well when attempting to stunt. Potential weight issues are a bit of a concern as Powe was once over 380 pounds. Ole Miss got him down to the 325-330 range, but it’s always a concern to try and keep weight problems down in the NFL.
Powe’s value lies as a nose tackle in a 4-3 and he could make the 3-4 nose tackle transition as well. Because nearly half of the league is running a 3-4 base front, Powe’s value could increase come NFL Draft time. Powe would be a nice candidate to groom behind Antonio Garay in San Diego. He could also be grabbed by either New York club, as well as the Patriots or Bears in the latter part of round three.
NFL Comparison: Ahtyba Rubin "
Positive: Large, powerful nose tackle prospect who can control the line of scrimmage. Explodes off the snap, plays with good lean, and consistently doubled or even tripled teamed on the inside. Rarely off his feet, tough to move off the point, and does not give up an inch of room. Bulrushes opponents off the ball, plays with consistently good pad level, and has always displays strength.
Negative: Ineffective using his hands and shows limited moves getting off blocks. Rather easily controlled by a single opponent on occasion. Straight-line type defender and a poor pass rusher.
Analysis: Coming into the season Powe was justifiably rated as the top nose tackle prospect in the draft, but he had a somewhat disappointing season and watched his stock slip. At the top of his game he's a powerful presence in the middle of the line and can occupy blockers, allowing his teammates to make plays on the ball. He possesses a good amount of upside but must quickly get his game back on track to achieve the ability scouts believe he has."
Negatives: Plays a bit too high... Does not play with great balance... On the ground too much... Lacks range, is a non-factor on runs outside the tackles... Just an average pass rusher... Lacks a good repertoire of pass rushing moves... Lacks counter moves... Inconsistent motor... Will wear down as the game moves along... May have a hard time absorbing an NFL playbook... Signed with Ole Miss in 2005, was academically ineligible until 2008... Weight ballooned to 380 lbs. prior to junior season... Older prospect, will be 24 by draft day."
Weaknesses: Very inconsistent player. Plays with a high pad level too often, as he will lose the leverage battle, and be driven off the LOS at the POA. Has difficulty shedding blocks. Not very effective as a pass rusher, showing few moves or counter moves off a bull rush. Doesn't have the redirect skills, quickness or athleticism to make plays outside the box. His motor is inconsistent. Endurance will be a problem late in games.
Projection: Second Round. A big body who will eat up double teams at nose tackle, Powe is a commodity that is tough to find for teams running a 3-4 defense."
The weight loss may be part of the reason why Powe has yet to find his game this season. Through seven games he has 15 total tackles, 4.5 tackles for loss, and 1.5 sacks. Another reason is that Ole Miss is almost constantly rotating its defensive linemen. Another red flag is academic concerns; Powe sat out a season and then spent one year at Junior College (he is already 23 years old), but those problems seem to be a thing of the past. Powe's stock could go way up or way down depending on his performance the rest of the season and his combine. For now, look for him to go off the board sometime during the second round."
His admirable dedication to weight loss has proved disastrous, as his impact has disappeared, and he now looks headed for the 4th Round, or so.
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