One of our more intriguing UDFA acquisitions had to be when we signed Shawn Powell to a contract. As many fans know there was a period of time where many us could say that our incumbent punter Brian Moorman was our best player. Now those dark days are behind us, hopefully, and it appears that even Moorman’s job isn’t safe from a swift challenge.
Scouting a punter is never easy per say, I mean there are only so many things you can look for in a guy who only touches the ball 0-5 times a game. One of the easiest things to watch though is hang time, and when it comes to hang time Powell excels. We were able to review a few of his games from 2011 and found that a large majority of his punts resulted in 5.0 or more seconds of hang time. In the NFL that could be the difference between a fair catch for no yardage and a return that goes all the way for a touchdown. Powell had the strongest leg in this past year’s draft class.
The issue with Powell is that he doesn’t display the touch or consistency that you often need in the NFL where field position is key. If you’re short of your own 40 and Powell has 70 or so yards to play with then he’s a perfect punter. However if you’re just over the 50 and need Powell to coffin corner or put a punt down inside the 10 that’s a little bit harrier for him. He doesn’t get consistent contact with his foot on the ball, too often it comes off the side of his foot and effects his accuracy and touch.
If Powell wants to really push Moorman he’ll need to do so by showing improvements in his accuracy and touch. He can already likely out punt Moorman in distance and hang time but the kicking game is often about much more than just raw power.
Measurements: 6038, 248 lbs.
2011-47.0 Average, 42.0 Net Average, 21 Punts Downed Inside 20, 63% of Punts Not Returned