2018 Season Countdown: #47 Jaylen Kelly-Powell

2018 Season Countdown: #47 Jaylen Kelly-Powell

July 13, 2018

Jaylen Kelly-Powell (#16, image via Zimbio)

Name: Jaylen Kelly-Powell
Height: 6’0″
Weight: 173 lbs.
High school: Detroit (MI) Cass Tech
Position: Safety
Class: Sophomore
Jersey number: #16
Last year: I ranked Kelly-Powell #66 and said he would be a backup safety and special teamer (LINK). He made 2 tackles.
TTB Rating: 77

Kelly-Powell was a freshman last season with an undefined position. Was he a safety, a cornerback, or a nickel? Michigan tried him everywhere in the defensive backfield to see where he fit best. Ultimately, they decided he probably had the best chance of contributing at the nickel corner position. He’s one of those tweeners who doesn’t have the speed/athleticism to be great at corner, and he’s not physical enough – at least not yet – to be a safety.

This year not much has changed in the defensive backfield, except Utah transfer Casey Hughes has entered the fold as a potential contributor at safety or nickel. Spring reports were positive about Kelly-Powell, though, and some observers said he looked excellent. I’m skeptical of spring practice reports without seeing evidence of it myself, but there were some who said Kelly-Powell will force his way onto the field somewhere. The problem is it’s a loaded defensive backfield, and there aren’t enough positions to get all the good players on the field. The four starters (David Long, Lavert Hill, Tyree Kinnel, Josh Metellus) all return, along with highly touted corner Ambry Thomas and experienced veteran Brandon Watson. Then you have Hughes, big-hitting J’Marick Woods, and a whole cadre of freshmen.

Prediction: Backup nickel corner


  1. Avatar
    Comments: 1863
    Joined: 1/19/2016
    Jul 13, 2018 at 10:08 PM

    I like JKP. I just don’t think he’ll be a heavy contributor until we start losing stars after this year & next. Even then, we’ll probably regard him as a “heady veteran,” rather than a stud

  2. Painter Smurf
    Comments: 263
    Joined: 8/12/2015
    Painter Smurf
    Jul 15, 2018 at 11:21 AM

    Have heard a lot of hype leak from the program about JKP. Not sure I see it yet – strikes me at first glance as a corner-sized player without corner skills. But size is often overrated for DB’s and he should be able to show his stuff in 2018 games after getting comfortable last season. Hope he can be a true safety, as that is the biggest need right now IMO.

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