During his five years at Clemson, Cornell Powell played with a half dozen current NFL wide receivers, including Mike Williams, Hunter Renfrow, Ray-Ray McCloud, Deon Cain, Tee Higgins and Amari Rodgers.
Now, Powell is an NFL receiver himself after being selected by the Kansas City Chiefs in Saturday’s fifth round (181st overall) of the 2021 NFL Draft, and he is ready to take the winning mentality he competed with at “Wide Receiver U” to a franchise that is very familiar with winning, having appeared in each of the past two Super Bowls and won the big game two seasons ago.
“Many of my brothers are in the NFL right now that I played with in that wide receiver room, and I’m so proud of them, and I learned a lot from them being at Clemson,” Powell said to reporters after being drafted by the Chiefs. “We just have this Clemson mindset to just dominate everything, every play, every possession. So, I’m looking to continue that and just bring this winning attitude to Kansas City, which they already have. So, it’s like a perfect fit for me.”
After seeing limited action over his first four years at Clemson while playing behind a bunch of stars in the receiving corps, Powell received increased opportunities in a starting role as a fifth-year senior in 2020 and took full advantage of them, bursting onto the scene with career highs in receptions (53), receiving yards (882) and receiving touchdowns (seven) after totaling just 40 catches for 329 yards and three touchdowns from 2016-19.
Despite the breakout campaign, Powell believes he hasn’t even scratched the surface of his potential yet and is eager to prove himself as a professional.
“Being at Clemson, you have great players around you, and you’ve just got to learn how to prove yourself each and every day, and I have so much more to show to everyone,” he said. “What I displayed this season is not even scratching the surface yet. So, I’m just ready to come into Kansas City and just grind, man.”
Powell knows he is fortunate to be in the position he is in, going from catching passes from No. 1 overall pick Trevor Lawrence at Clemson to now having 2018 NFL MVP and Super Bowl LIV MVP Patrick Mahomes as his quarterback in Kansas City.
“Trevor’s great, Patrick’s great, and I’m just blessed to go from one great quarterback to the next,” Powell said. “So, I’m just going to, as soon as I get to Kansas City, get to work with Patrick and just try to get on the same page with him and try to make something happen for the team. The ultimate goal is just to win Super Bowls, so I’m ready to do that.”
Clemson Variety & Frame is doing their part to help bring you some classic new barware and help one of the local businesses that helps make Clemson special.
Order your Nick’s barware and do your part to help. #SaveNicks