As another lost New York Jets season unfolds, it’s time to evaluate this 53-man roster from top to bottom. Let’s continue this daily ranking with #41, Bilal Powell.
The 31-year-old running back drafted by ex-ex-ex-general manager Mike Tanenbaum out of Louisville in the fourth-round (126th overall) of the 2011 NFL Draft. He’s only played for Gang Green, but under three different head coaches and four general managers!
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Powell is a coach’s offensive dream — a dynamic slashing back with terrific hands and blocking skills. The problem with Bilal is that he’s always nicked and hurt.
In nine seasons, he’s played 107 games. But that number is a bit inflated because he suited up 11 games this season, and barely playing, including just three carries over the first five games.
Powell only played seven games last year before season-ending neck surgery so nobody expected his medical clearance to return for 2019.
For instance, back in the Luke Falk days, where were those off-tackle sprints and quick swing passes to the ninth-ranked rusher in Jets history?
When Gase integrated Powell into the rushing rotation, he made a statement, by hitting the holes and moving the chains.
He started in that Miami Dolphins victory at MetLife Stadium involving Bell’s illness and bowling drama — and rushed for a then-team-best 19 carries for 74 yards — before badly twisting his ankle.
It’ll be interesting to see if Powell wants to continue or if he is ready to retire. Don’t be surprised if Joe Douglas drafts a back late Day 2 or early Day 3.
But even so, Powell is still an upgrade over every back on this roster not named Le’Veon Bell.
#53 — Trumaine Johnson #52 — Ryan Kalil #51 — Kelechi Osemele #50 — Quinnen Williams #49 — Chuma Edoga #48 — Frankie Luvu #47 — Sam Ficken #46 — Nate Hairston #45 — Brandon Shell #44 — Jordan Willis #43 — Vyncint Smith #42 — Kyron Brown