For all the struggles Ole Miss has had on defense, the Rebels could go into 2011 with two very important building blocks who would not have been back had things gone their way – Jerrell Powe and Kentrell Lockett.
Powe has said he “has no problem” coming back for another season if he doesn’t like the information he receives when he queries the NFL about his draft status.
Lockett, who sustained a torn ACL early in Week 4 against Fresno State, stands a good chance to be granted a medical redshirt.
South Louisiana-based NFL draft analyst Mike Detillier projects Powe as a mid-round pick, late third round at best.
“The best comparison I can give you is he’d played like a middle class version of Terrence Cody (former Alabama DL). Terrence was dominant against the run. He wasn’t a great pass rusher, but neither is Jerrell,” Detillier said. “If he’s looking to hear a first- or second-round answer, he’s not going to get that from the NFL advisory board.”
Cody was a late second-round pick last year, No. 57 overall. Powe will have to answer questions of his weight, which speaks to game-long endurance, and his work ethic, Detillier said.
Comparing Powe to LSU’s Drake Nevis, the SEC’s best at the DT position this year, Nevis has 53 tackles, 12.5 tackles for loss, 6 sacks. Powe has 21 tackles, 7.5 tackles for loss, 2.5 sacks.
There are a number of factors that will play into Powe’s decision, his age of 23 years and the NFL labor situation among them, but he’s been emphatic in saying that he isn’t bothered by the idea of coming back to Ole Miss.
The secondary comes immediately to mind, but defense has been a problem across the board for Ole Miss.
Having Lockett, who led the team with 13 QB pressures last year, and Powe with something to prove to NFL scouts, could be two very good places to start in rebuilding for 2011.