William Powell to get first crack at RB for Cardinals
Powell was an undrafted free agent coming out of Kansas State, and rightfully so, as he was mostly just a special teams player and gained only 255 career yards from scrimmage. He's now played in two career NFL games, both as the Cardinals' no-huddle running back. In those two games, he has three carries for nine yards, five catches for 26 yards, and a fumble.
Most people certainly have no idea what to expect when Powell takes the field against the Bills on Sunday, but some in the Cardinals' organization feel that the outlook is good. Powell was the leading rusher during the preseason, totaling 249 yards on 5.9 per carry and 3 touchdowns. There are plenty of preseason heroes who never make an impact on a meaningful game, but the Cardinals don't feel that is the case with Powell.
According to Schefter, there's a "buzz in the Cardinals' organization" about the inexperienced runner. "The players believe he can do it," Schefter said. "He'll have to prove he can during the regular season, but there are some people in the Cardinals' organization who believe Powell can get the job done for Arizona."
While Powell may or may not have the talent to be an effective NFL runner, that's not the biggest concern for the Cardinals' rushing attack. Regardless of talent, the Cardinals' offensive line has severely struggled to open holes for whoever has been in the backfield, and not even the greatest of running backs could be efficient when getting hit behind the line of scrimmage on almost every play.
I have to say, I really hope Powell can be what the Cardinals have been looking for in the backfield. He's a great story as a player who barely took a handoff in college that worked his way up to become a starting NFL running back. However, I find it more likely that the shoddy offensive line makes it difficult for him to succeed, and the Cardinals' run game continues to struggle.