Third-year wide receiver Walter Powell has worked hard to get to this point and in my opinion he has earned a spot on the Bills roster. He was targeted 16 times so far this preseason reeling in 12 passes for 189 yards and an 87.8 WR rating per Pro Football Focus.
Correct decision, bad placement. Maybe bc of dfndr’s hands in his face? EJ doesn’t execute accuracy consistently. pic.twitter.com/XTUIUQ2SuS
— Cover 1 (@cover1eturner) August 27, 2016
But where here is most valuable is in the slot. Sammy Watkins and Robert Woods will be Tyrod Taylor’s top targets, but someone has to fill Chris Hogan’s shoes. Hogan and his 58 targets in 2015 departed for New England. Hogan took 209 snaps from the slot last season, was targeted 24 times, caught 14 balls and one touchdown. These numbers will need to be replaced and one contributor could be Walter Powell.
— Cover 1 (@cover1eturner) August 26, 2016
Take a look at Powell’s statistics from the slot position so far this preseason.
Another reason why Powell should make the Bills 53 man squad are his special teams abilities. According to PFF through three games, Powell is graded as a +2 overall for kick returns and punt returns combined. That ranks him tied for the 3rd highest grade in the league. Number 19 has 4 kick returns for 78 yards and 8 punt returns for 94 yards (4th most). In my opinion, Powell has earned his stripes and should be put on the opening day roster.