It’s somewhat rare to see a player make it to the NFL after an amateur career solely played in junior college ball. It’s also rare to see a player jump to the NFL from a mid-tier arena football league.
The Buffalo Bills have a guy who’s trying to do both.
Name: Joe Powell
Height/Weight: 6’2”, 205 lbs
College: Globe Institute of Technology
Financial Situation (per Spotrac): Powell is on a two-year deal that will pay him the league-minimum salary of $465,000 this year. There is no guaranteed money in the deal.
2016 Recap: After winning the Indoor Professional Football League’s Defensive Rookie of the Year in 2015, Powell tried to make the jump to the NFL in 2016. He tried out with the Philadelphia Eagles before landing with the New York Giants during the preseason. He was waived before the season began, and the Bills signed him to the practice squad last October.
Positional Outlook: I feel like I’m commenting on the Bills’ safety depth every other time I write one of these, even though there are only seven safeties on the roster right now. As I’ve said before, the position is very much in flux. The top two spots are probably safe, but the final two or three spots are open for competition.
2017 Offseason: Powell re-upped with the Bills on a futures contract in January.
2017 Season Outlook: Powell didn’t make the jump to the NFL because of his versatility. He made the jump because he was seemingly too talented to toil away in the IPFL. That said, it doesn’t look like he’s talented enough to stand out in the NFL. He doesn’t have special teams experience, something that a few other safeties on the roster have, so unless he can shine on the defense in training camp he seems bound for another year on the practice squad.