Keeping It Heel continues it’s countdown of the top 25 players on the North Carolina Tar Heels roster with player 22.
Keeping It Heel is going to continue to help you countdown the weeks until college football season by revealing our list of the top 25 UNC players for the upcoming season.
Sure you may be busing keeping up with the NBA playoffs, but that doesn’t mean you can’t take a break to get a little more football in your life.
So let’s get started with player 22, a senior defensive player who may be making a position change this off season.
Tyler Powell (Senior)
Position: Defensive Tackle
Hometown: Midlothian, Virginia
High School: Cosby
Last Season: Tyler Powell played nine games last season at defensive end. He finished with 19 tackles, three for loss, and 1.5 sacks. His best game came in a loss to Duke in which he had three tackles and a sack.
Powell saw most of this action after Tomon Fox (#24 on this list) went down with an injury.
Why he might move up this list: Powell has played in 27 games in his three seasons at UNC where he recorded at least one tackle. He has shown versatility playing anywhere he has been needed on the line.
That versatility could help him get more playing time as there is a big hole at defensive tackle with the early departure of Nazair Jones.
Powell is also a senior. This could be his final chance to make a name for himself and get on the radar of NFL scouts and possibly extend his career beyond this season. It could be a situation where Powell has a nice year due to it being his final one in Chapel Hill.
Why he might move down this list: Despite having way more experience, Powell was passed up by a freshman last season. He has only averaged nine games a season where he recorded a tackle, while registering four games a season where he didn’t make any impact on the game.
If he stays at defensive end, he will also find a ton of competition for the open spot. He was beat out by Fox last season. Dajuan Drennon had a huge spring game with five tackles and three sacks and he is also a senior, giving Powell some steady competition.
Prediction: Despite playing defensive end last season, Powell is built more like a defensive tackle at 6-foot-4, 290 pounds. With the hole left by Jones and the depth at end, Powell moves inside to tackle and has a huge season.
Joining Jalen Dalton on the interior, the two become a run-stuffing duo. He finishes with 30 tackles, 12 for loss, and three sacks, while being projected as a sixth-round pick in 2018.