Time for LA Rams to tap into WR Brandon Powell’s potential

Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports
Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports /

The LA Rams need to be savvy about who they place on their 53-man roster for the 2022 NFL season. In the past, the team has been apt to carry players who were drafted, whether or not they ultimately contributed to the team that season. And that could be a problem for the team this year.

The LA Rams discovered something about their roster in 2021. This team needed contributions from almost everyone on the roster over the course of the season en route to winning Super Bowl LVI.  Sometimes the true stars of the team are not the players who test best at the NFL Scouting Combine.

Some players look good on paper. Put them in shorts, track shoes, and a tee-shirt, and they will light up the track meet events during their pro day or at the combine in such dramatic fashion that it appears to be irrefutable evidence that they will be destined to star on an NFL roster. But when the pads go one, the crisp gazelle-like strides of shorts and sneakers take on the waddle of a penguin on an ice floe.

Other players are consistent whether in or out of pads. And WR Brandon Powell may be one of those players.

Brandon Powell is more of a mudder than a thoroughbred. As such, he has played on three different teams in three separate years. He has been almost exclusively assigned to a special team role throughout his NFL Career.

But just as the pattern is breaking with his return to the LA Rams for a second season, so too could the pattern be dissolving that has cattle-chuted him into a punt and kick return role. He is with the LA Rams in training camp.  And he even has a history of catching passes from quarterback Matthew Stafford in 2018 when he played for the Detroit Lions. He caught 11 of 17 passes for 129 yards then.

Powell is already on the roster and is already moving the needle with his ability to return punts and kickoffs. It makes perfect sense to explore other ways to get him involved on this team.

If not as a receiver, perhaps in a Deebo Samuel-like role of moving him out to the receiver spot and then to the backfield like a running back?  Of course, I’m just speculating now. But the Rams need to be savvy about who they place on their 53-man roster for the 2022 NFL season. And for those players who make the roster? The team needs to optimize those opportunities.

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