Ronald Powell became the third former Gator selected in the 2014 NFL Draft when the New Orleans Saints selected him with the No. 169 pick in the fifth round on Saturday.
Powell was the No. 1 overall prospect out of the 2010 recruiting class but never lived up to the hype that surrounded him as a high school prospect due to an ACL injury and a myriad of coaching changes.
As a freshman Powell appeared in all 13 contests including one start, while earning Freshman All-SEC honors.
His sophomore year saw Powell lead the team in sacks (6) and he totaled nine tackles-for-loss — fourth best on the team. He started in all 12 games he played in, transitioning from strongside linebacker to the newly installed BUCK linebacker in Will Muschamp’s defense. The season helped him make Phil Steele’s third team All-SEC list.
Powell was having the best spring of his career before suffering a torn ACL during Florida’s spring game prior to the 2012 season. Powell was given a timetable to be able to return in October — before the LSU game — and was on track to be able to return for his junior campaign before suffering a setback that required an additional surgery. After taking a redshirt, Powell returned in 2013, recording 26 tackles, seven for-a-loss, four sacks and eight quarterback hurries.
Powell chose to leave school with a year of eligibility left and was the third Gator selected in the 2014 NFL Draft.