DFF Draft Coverage: Cornell Powell to the Chiefs

Cornell Powell | Clemson                      6’0” 204 lbs.                             10/30/1997 (Age 23)

Cornell Powell was drafted 181st overall with a compensatory pick in round five by the Kansas City Chiefs. He becomes the 22nd wide receiver and 181st overall player in the 2021 NFL Draft.


Year Games Played    Receptions    Yards    Yards/Catch    TDs   
2016 (FR) 5 12 87 7.3 0
2017 (SO) 8 8 57 7.1 1
2018 (JR) 4 5 63 12.6 0
2019 (JR) 10 15 122 8.1 2
2020 (SR)    12 53 882 16.6 7

Powell didn’t get involved much in the receiving game until his senior season. He was the second-leading receiver on his team last year, and he tied Amari Rodgers with the most receiving touchdowns on the team (7) as well. Although he wasn’t a huge contributor outside of his senior year, Powell still showed glimpses as to why he is pro-ready. He finished his senior season with four games of at least 100 receiving yards. He even put together three straight weeks of hitting that mark. Powell also dominated in the biggest games. In Week 8, Clemson traveled to Notre Dame to take on the Fighting Irish. Powell finished the game with six receptions for 161 yards and one touchdown. In the College Playoff Game against Ohio State, he produced eight catches for 139 yards and two touchdowns. 


Powell has nice size for his position, and he is coming off of a career season. He fights for every reception, and he comes away with a lot of contested catches. He lays out and extends his arms to make the difficult catch. Powell shows great awareness, and he has a lot of upside at the wide receiver position. 


The Clemson product put together just one productive season. He doesn’t offer much experience, and he doesn’t always finish his routes. His top speed isn’t spectacular, and he lacks that second burst as a deep threat option. 


At his Clemson Pro Day, Powell measured in at 6’0” and 204 lbs. Which equates to a BMI of 27.47. He ran a 4.47-second 40-yard dash, equating to a 102.2-Speed Score, and at 6’0” that is a 101.12-Height Adjusted Speed Score, both figures are in the top 66th percentile or higher. Powell performed at an “average” level during his Pro Day. His 36.5” vertical jump doesn’t equal “elite,” and he finished with a 128” broad jump. He doesn’t have elite speed nor elite athleticism either, but he’s a hard-working receiver that should contribute at the Pro level. 


Rapid Reaction to Draft Capital: Poor

Rapid Reaction to Landing Spot: Great

Powell was selected with the 181st-overall pick in the 2021 NFL Draft by the Kansas City Chiefs. While the draft capital is awful, there was not much more for us to expect with only one season of production. However, the landing spot is outstanding, when you consider he will have an opportunity to compete for snaps in a Patrick Mahomes-led offense. Additionally, the Chiefs do not currently possess a resident slot receiver, as Hill and Kelce play all over the formation and Demarcus Robinson and Byron Pringle play outside. 


Powell will more than likely serve as a WR3/4 in the future for his new team. It’s hard telling if he will make an immediate fantasy impact this season, but he surely has the skills and traits to produce in the long run. He’s a top-25 wide receiver in this class, and he should produce inside of the top-75 at his position in time. Powell should start out as a free agent in fantasy leagues to start the year, but don’t be surprised if he turns heads later in the season. He is a great stash for taxi squads in dynasty leagues. For now, he looks like a project piece who should serve as a backup for his team. 

Thank you for tuning in to DFF’s 2021 NFL Draft Coverage! Stay tuned as we break down every fantasy-relevant pick during the draft. Please consider becoming our yearly DFF subscription member so we can continue to deliver top-notch analysis and fantasy breakdowns. Our yearly subscription will save you $40 and lead you to fantasy championships. You can also follow me @dirrim23 where I love talking about all things fantasy football!


Staff Writer @DFF_Dynasty #DFFArmy Rugby football Fantasy Football Writer.

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