For the first time in his short history as general manager of the K.C. Chiefs, Brett Veach has decided to release one of his own draft picks before the regular season has even started. Wide receiver Cornell Powell was among the team’s many roster cuts on Monday as the Chiefs try to get down to the limit of 53 overall players on the roster before the NFL’s deadline on Tuesday afternoon.
Powell was one of the team’s two fifth-round selections in the 2021 NFL Draft and the only wide receiver taken in the last two draft classes—despite both being praised for their deep talent pool of wideouts.
The Chiefs took Powell as a late-blooming prospect out of Clemson, a player who was buried on the depth chart early in his career only to them find younger players passing him up later. It wasn’t until his senior season that he broke out for the Tigers and turned heads with 53 catches for 882 receiving yards and 7 touchdowns.
K.C. Chiefs decided to waive Cornell Powell before active rosters are due.
Coming into the NFL, he was praised as a well-rounded receiver who could make the contested catch. While he’s not elite in anything, he’s also a solid all-around player who could definitely grow to be a solid contributor for Andy Reid and the Chiefs. Now, however, he might be claimed by some other team.
The possibility of Powell being waived was always a possibility as a day three pick for a loaded Super Bowl contender. ‘Tis the nature of things for the league’s best teams. That said, it also means that another surprise emerged on the roster enough to kick him off, such as fellow wide receiver Daurice Fountain.
Now the question will be whether or not the team can slip Powell through waivers or whether another team will take a chance on him and rob the Chiefs of a draft pick. If the Chiefs can keep him around, Powell has a very real chance to grow with more experience on the practice squad and even earn a spot on the active roster before season’s end. That’s the best case scenario at this stage as this pick could still reap dividends as a late bloomer on the next level as well.