Jan 1, 2021; New Orleans, LA, USA; Clemson Tigers wide receiver Cornell Powell (17) runs the ball past Ohio State Buckeyes cornerback Sevyn Banks (7) during the second half at Mercedes-Benz Superdome. Mandatory Credit: Chuck Cook-USA TODAY Sports
KC Chiefs offensive line ranks No. 7 in NFL per PFF
Every year, the National Football League’s Players Association puts together an annual Rookie Premiere Class for first-year players who are labeled as the most marketable faces of the incoming class. For the last 27 years, the NFL has brought these players together for a special event in order to help educate them about finances, endorsements, and ways to leverage their skill set and draft status and to sharpen their business acumen.
This year, the Chiefs had one player included in the NFLPA 2021 Rookie Premiere Class: wide receiver Cornell Powell. It’s an interesting inclusion among the 60 total players given that Powell wasn’t selected until the fifth round as a wideout prospect from Clemson. However, it helps that he’s a big school prospect who was drafted to play in the league’s most dynamic offense.
The K.C. Chiefs failed, as of yet, to secure an obvious replacement for wide receiver Sammy Watkins, despite chasing targets like JuJu Smith-Schuster, who returned on a one year deal to the Pittsburgh Steelers, and T.Y. Hilton, who returned to the Indianapolis Colts. The team also passed over many of the draft’s top wide receivers in order to meet other needs at linebacker and center only to finally address the position in the fifth with the selection of Powell.
Twenty-three of the 60 players involved in the Rookie Premiere Class were wide receivers, so Powell has plenty of company at the position. However it bodes well for his financial future that he’s already been targeted in such a way by the likes of Panini America and others for an event like this.
Powell was a one-year wonder with Clemson who needed a few years to break out for the Tigers. The good news is that he looked like made a significant leap in his development in ’20 with 53 catches for 882 yards and 7 touchdowns.
Past Chiefs to be included in the NFLPA Rookie Premiere event in recent years include Patrick Mahomes, Kareem Hunt, Mecole Hardman and more.