Name: Ben Powers
CONFERENCE: Big 12
POSITION: Interior Offensive Lineman
JERSEY: No. 75
RECRUITMENT RATING: 3-star
WT: 314 lbs
Pass Protection – Some hip stiffness may be exposed against better athletes, but power rushes didn’t challenge him in college. Gets his hands inside and sits down well against bull rushers. Often uncovered off the snap and not challenged 1v1 right away. Simple plan of attack by most Big 12 rushers won’t be the case in the NFL. How he handles counters is a big question mark.
POA Run Blocking – As a zone blocker, can struggle to overtake his opponent completely and capture the playside shoulder. Not truly explosive out of his stance like teammate Dru Samia, nor does he cover as much ground in zone schemes. Still, savvy with his hand placement and does a great job creating torque to twist defenders out of his gap to pave rush lanes. There are some physical matchups that will test his lack of elite length and power.
Functional Strength – Not overly powerful and dominant, but does look to finish and has some grappling strength to him. Most matchups in the Big 12 he could win physically, but I didn’t see a level of power that I believe will be transcendent in the NFL. Makes the most of his tools though.
Pass Pro Footwork – Base can be a little wide at times, but re-sets nicely when faced with power. Enough agility to contend with rushers working to his edge in college, but rarely faced a matchup against an opponent who brought a real pass rush plan to the table. Excellent job keeping proper distance and positioning from his right tackle which enabled him to pick up twists flawlessly.
Strike Timing/Placement – Definite area of strength for Powers. Hands are placed well in pass protection and doesn’t get pushed around much. Bull rushes didn’t get far with him because he doesn’t allow opponents into his pads. In the run game, consistently gains chest control with good grip strength to win 1v1. Even on the move, typically finds leverage points and can get enough of a defender to open up a crease.
Leverage – Consistently low off the ball and did a good job of creating some movement as a result. Attacked leverage points and did a good job sealing off rush lanes by being the low man and turning defensive lineman in or out. Not physically dominant player, but maximizes his tools with technique and low pads.
Space Blocking – Not an elite athlete, but more than capable of finding and hitting targets on the move. Frequently used as a puller and almost always arrived at his target under control and with good technique. Struggled to get to more athletic second level defenders at times, tightness in hips challenged his angles in space. Hustled his tail off and was effective on screen plays and QB draws.
Competitive Toughness – Extremely physical and finishes whenever possible. Nobody will question the toughness of any of the Oklahoma offensive linemen. Not a pancake guy, but plays every rep to the echo of the whistle and consistently brings the right demeanor.
Mental Processing – Does a great job reacting to the force defender’s movements on the fly as a puller, logging when he steps down and kicking when he stays out. Good processor to deny twists and consistently pick up late pressure. Keeps his eyes active looking for work.
Athleticism/Size – Good, not great athlete. Might appear worse watching him with guys as athletic as Samia and Cody Ford on the same line. Listed at 314 pounds, but appears smaller on tape. Length could be an issue.
BEST TRAIT – Hand Usage/Strikes
WORST TRAIT – Athleticism/Size
RED FLAGS – None
Powers is the definition of a good college football player who may not have any great traits to hang his hat on as he translates to the NFL. Against the Big 12 level of competition he more than held his own, showing off the ability to pull and hit targets in space at a pretty high level. But the more superior the athlete or the more dominant the physical traits he faced, the more he struggled. It’s clear Powers has some limitations that I’m not sure his technique can make up for, but I do think he’s savvy enough to project as a starter down the road, even if he isn’t ever a top player at his position. Look for him to come off the board in the mid-rounds, provided he doesn’t get worked too badly by Quinnen Williams and an impressive crop of Senior Bowl interior defensive linemen.
Functional Athleticism – Is a bit clunky when you ask him to operate in space, he’s boxy and doesn’t do well with having to break down or mirror or pull with grace. That said, he’s a “get the job done” guy and often offers just enough to execute his responsibility.
Football IQ – Well seasoned starter, rarely caught panicking on the field and his general ability to align properly for angles has helped overcome his physical restrictions. Embodiment of football player > athlete. Savvy, smart player who handles fronts and exchanges well.
Anchor Ability – Pretty physically stout at first contact, shows a likable sense of timing with his hands to deliver a first blow. Like his ability to drop the hips, he shows good balance and does well when he’s able to get defenders into close quarters.
Hand Technique – Really like his placement. Shows good discipline of his strike zone and doesn’t go chasing the numbers with too much separation. Activity in the hands to re-work and latch on is effective, even when looking to get a hook block on a far angled block.
Balance – Controlled. Won’t compromise himself or his base to chase ghosts and lunge. Not easily bubbled back, shows enough core strength to absorb blows and enough foot mobility to reset himself. Can be a little top heavy as a puller if he gets knocked in the pads.
Pass Sets –Plays within himself, I like that he doesn’t overextend or labor with his feet. Foot quickness and cadence is fine, he’s got no problem shuffling his feet to stay framed on his blocks. Does well in pulling reps to get outside and set up before protecting his inside shoulder.
Flexibility –Pretty tight through the hips, shows a pretty pedestrian level of hinge in his hips to open quickly and generate velocity when he’s looking to pull down the line. That said, he shows good knee bend and a pretty reliable base in protection and when stuck on blocks.
Power at POA – Not a mauler, but he’s really relentless with his forward push and out-leverages defenders with his hand usage and ability to continue working the feet and build momentum. His overall explosive power isn’t anything to write home about but that’s okay.
Length/Extension – Didn’t think he’s measure in with the numbers that he did. Added bonus to have anatomical length but really shines when he’s not tasked with playing with hands away from frame, showcases strength best when he’s locked in tight or has help to keep close quarters.
Competitive Toughness – Gets after folks. Pretty chippy and does well to stay in the grill of opponents who are looking to passively pull off of his blocks. Isn’t overwhelming with push, strength or quickness but effort level meshes all together well to provide effective results.
BEST TRAIT – Competitive Toughness
WORST TRAIT – Functional Athleticism
BEST FILM – FAU (2018)
WORST FILM – Ohio State (2017)
RED FLAGS – None
Ben Powers doesn’t have the kind of movement skills to suggest he’s a ZBS-system guard at the NFL level. That said, I do feel Powers has the functional strength and sturdiness to compete for a starting job in gap rushing offenses, where he may be less exposes to high degree of difficulty blocks. Powers is fairly sturdy in pass protection and his play appears to have enough quality to warrant consideration in both quick and deep drop back passing offenses.