The Florida Gators will send two top-notch pass rushers into the 2014 NFL Draft in Dominique Easley and Ronald Powell, but both players have major injury concerns that will need to be addressed. Easley will likely get docked from being a potential top ten pick to being selected outside of the first round due to a torn ACL (in my opinion, this guy still has to be rated as a first-round pick), whereas Powell’s lengthy injury history will dock him significantly from where he would have been taken based on sheer talent.
According to CBS Sports’s Bruce Feldman, the uber-athletic edge rusher will declare for the draft, and it will be interesting to see when Powell is taken off of the board. That will all depend on how Powell checks out medically and how well he does during pre-draft workouts (most namely the Combine), so we likely won’t have a good read on Powell as a draft prospect until March.
He checks out well on tape as a pass rusher when he was healthy, and it’s clear that the Gators had a high-impact player in Powell during the times when injuries didn’t get the best of him. He has all the physical tools and was a gifted pass rusher in Gainesville, as he had seven tackles for loss, four sacks, and an incredible amount of consistent pressure on the quarterback in 11 games this season. Injuries are a big issue, but it’s clear that Powell is an explosive pass rusher who has both strength and burst to beat offensive tackles at the next level.