Round 5 – No. 169
Ronald Powell, LB
New Orleans Saints
Height: 6’3″ – Weight: 237 lbs.
Age: 22 – Class: Redshirt junior
Two surgeries to his anterior cruciate ligament kept Florida Gators Buck linebacker Ronald Powell from reaching his full potential in college, but the New Orleans Saints obviously believe he has more than enough upside as a professional and expressed that by selecting him on Saturday with the No. 169 overall pick in the fifth round of the 2014 NFL Draft.
The No. 1 overall prospect in the 2010 recruiting class, Powell was used as a pass rusher at Florida and projects as a stand-up outside linebacker in New Orleans.
Powell registered 11 sacks and 19 tackles for loss in three years of active play with the Gators and led UF with four sacks and eight quarterback hurries in 2013. He started 12 games as a sophomore in 2011 and was primed for a breakout season as a junior in 2012 but missed the entire campaign due to his ACL injury.
“When you watch his film, he’s a third-round prospect,” NFL Draft expert Tony Pauline told OnlyGators.com when evaluating Powell. ”He plays well in space, shows the ability to move around early and chase the action in pursuit. He was able to drop off the run and sprint. He’s shown the foundation and didn’t seem lost, didn’t seem out in space somewhere. …
“If he’s healthy, he’s going to surprise at the next level. He’s one of those guys where if he’s able to stay healthy and continue to build upon what we saw last season, could be one of those guys that people are going to say, ‘How could this guy fall so deep into the draft?’”
Powell is the first Florida player drafted by New Orleans since 1998. The Saints have now selected six Gators dating back to 1974.