Rapid Reaction: Jets draft Powell in fourth

April, 30, 2011
PLAYER: Bilal Powell
SCHOOL: Louisville
POSITION: Running back
HEIGHT: 5-11
WEIGHT: 204 pounds

What it means: The Jets have crowded backfield, with Powell joining Shonn Greene, LaDainian Tomlinson and Joe McKnight at tailback. This fuels immediate speculation about Tomlinson's future. Publicly, the Jets have said they want Tomlinson to return for the final year of his contract, but it will be difficult to keep four backs on the roster. It doesn't make sense.

Powell overcame adversity in his childhood. As a Florida prep, he was stabbed after his sophomore year, according to Pro Football Weekly. He injured his knee late last season and was unable to perform at the scouting combine because of a pulled hamstring.

How he fits in the offensive scheme: Powell is a one-cut runner who came on strong as a senior. He rushed for 1,405 yards, a 6.1 average and 11 touchdowns. He caught 18 passes for 158 yards and three touchdowns. Prior to his senior year, Powell was a non-factor at Louisville. As a one-cut runner, he's more like Thomas Jones, more of a straight-line speed guy, not real elusive.

Projected impact: It depends on what the Jets do with Tomlinson. Obviously, Powell will have a prominent role on special teams. If the Jets dump Tomlinson, he will be the No. 3 back, behind Greene and McKnight.

Rich Cimini

ESPN New York Jets reporter



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