- ‘Pocket drones’: U.S. Army developing tiny surveillance tools for the next big war
- Belgian cafe posts sign: Dogs allowed, but Jews stay out
- Gen. Dempsey: Pentagon studying Russian readiness plans not viewed ‘for 20 years’
- John McCain: Botched, two-hour execution of murderer is ‘torture’
- House GOP ready to move border bill
- Bomb squad called after live WWII artillery washes on Cape Cod beach
- HAYDEN: Intelligence, evidence and the case against Russia
- Ohio university quiz implies atheists are naturally smarter than Christians
- Rep. Henry Cuellar on border crisis: ‘Playing defense on the one-yard line’
- Activists vow to occupy fast-food restaurants to get higher pay
Jets take Louisville RB Powell in 4th round
Question of the Day
After focusing on defense with their first two picks, the Jets took the Louisville running back in the fourth round of the NFL draft Saturday. Powell joins LaDainian Tomlinson, Shonn Greene, Joe McKnight _ last year’s fourth-round pick _ and fullback John Conner, the team’s fifth-rounder a year ago in the Jets‘ solid running game.
“I just want to come in and compete,” Powell said moments after being drafted. “I just want to get under those guys and learn the system and compete everyday.”
It’s uncertain when that will be, though, given the NFL’s uncertain labor situation with an on-again, off-again and now on-again lockout.
The Jets traded up eight spots in the fifth round, swapping places with the Philadelphia Eagles and taking TCU wide receiver Jeremy Kerley. They also sent a sixth-round selection to Philadelphia for the Eagles’ seventh-round pick in the deal.
The 5-foot-11, 205-pound Powell ran for 1,405 yards and 11 touchdowns and caught 18 passes for 158 yards and three more scores in his senior season, his first as a starter for the Cardinals. He took on a more prominent role in the offense last season under new coach Charlie Strong, who replaced Steve Kragthorpe.
“My role changed and they gave me a different opportunity to play,” Powell said.
Powell didn’t run at the NFL combine because of a pulled right hamstring that he said is still healing, but the Jets apparently felt confident he’ll be fine once football starts up again. An excited coach Rex Ryan, general manager Mike Tannenbaum and several other team officials were shown congratulating each other in the team’s draft room on NFL Network after the pick.
It was a curious selection if only because the Jets already have a few versatile pass-catching threats in the backfield in both Tomlinson, who’ll be 32 but wants to come back, and McKnight, who is expected to play a bigger role this season.
“Just being able to catch the ball out of the backfield,” Powell said of his strengths, “and being able to run inside and outside, and also contribute on special teams.”
He also has an intriguing back story. According to a report by ESPN.com last September, Bilal ran with gangs in high school and was hospitalized after being stabbed following his sophomore year. He credits religion for helping him turn his life around.
“I had a troubled (childhood),” he said. “I kind of rebelled a little bit, but ended up being saved going into my senior year. It changed a lot of things for me.”
The Jets addressed their defense early in the draft, taking Temple defensive lineman Muhammad Wilkerson in the first round and Hampton nose tackle Kenrick Ellis in the third. Powell met with the team during the last several weeks, and left them with a favorable impression.
“I kind of figured they had a good interest in me, especially after the visit,” he said.
Powell was a two-way star at Lake Gibson High School in Lakeland, Fla., as he starred at tailback and cornerback. Louisville actually recruited him as a defensive back, and Powell turned down scholarship offers from Michigan State and Southern Mississippi to join the Cardinals.
Second- and third-stringers eye 2016 if front-runner stumbles
- 'We're coming for you, Barack Obama': Top U.S. official discloses threat from ISIL terrorists
- Russia shipping sophisticated weapons systems to Ukraine separatists
- NAPOLITANO: What if our democracy is a fraud?
- John McCain: Botched, two-hour execution of murderer is 'torture'
- Michelle Obama says money in politics is bad, asks donors for 'big, fat check'
- EDITORIAL: Detroit's water 'spigot bigots'
- Brian Kelly, Notre Dame ready for different route to title
- Ted Nugent loses second casino gig for 'racist remarks'
- Obama orders Pentagon advisers to Ukraine
- White House readies for House GOP impeachment push: 'Foolish' to ignore
Obama's biggest White House 'fails'
Celebrities turned politicians
Athletes turned actors
20 gadgets that changed the world
Fighting in Iraq