Detroit Lions: Will Brandon Powell prove to be Golden?

LEXINGTON, KY - SEPTEMBER 23: Brandon Powell #4 of the Florida Gators runs for a touchdown against the Kentucky Wildcats at Kroger Field on September 23, 2017 in Lexington, Kentucky. (Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images)
LEXINGTON, KY - SEPTEMBER 23: Brandon Powell #4 of the Florida Gators runs for a touchdown against the Kentucky Wildcats at Kroger Field on September 23, 2017 in Lexington, Kentucky. (Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images) /
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(Photo by Gregory Shamus/Getty Images)
(Photo by Gregory Shamus/Getty Images) /

While Matt Patricia and his coaching staff were excited about Agnew’s potential on defense, it was his ability to make plays as a return man that will really be missed.

Let’s be honest, every time he got his hands on the ball we believed he could take the distance. As a matter of fact, he did just that in San Francisco during the Lions second game of the season. Unfortunately, it was called back as there were two penalties against the Lions on the play.

Now that Agnew has been officially put on the injured reserve, the question is; who will replace him?

The safe answers are T.J. Jones or Ameer Abdullah.

Either one could do a serviceable job. Jones would be solid, but not spectacular while Abdullah has the possibility of being a big play threat.

Yet if it was up to me, I would go with Brandon Powell.

During the preseason Powell had an explosive 80-yard punt return against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers that jump-started their come from behind victory.

But Powell accomplished much more than that as he also led the Lions in receptions (16) and receiving yards (103) during the exhibition season.

In a nutshell, he was the most productive player on the Lions offense and he has not ceased to impress the coaching staff or his teammates with his work ethic.

The former Florida Gator has been compared favorably to Golden Tate by … Golden Tate. If the comparison wasn’t a big enough compliment, who it came from certainly should be. When asked about Powell, Tate couldn’t have been more enthusiastic. Here’s what he told the Detroit Free Press.

"“I’ve gone through nine training camps and I haven’t seen someone come in, an undrafted (rookie) like Brandon Powell. The last guy I saw was Doug Baldwin. I’m going to teach Brandon Powell everything I know that I can possibly teach him to succeed in this league because I think he’s a great talent. He excites me when I watch. He actually,he reminds me of a young me, but even better.”"

High praise indeed.

To me, the most impressive part of Powell’s game was the fact that the first tackler almost never brought him down in the preseason. And those who did, still couldn’t keep his forward progress from getting every yard possible.

Those are not only great traits to have in a return man but great traits for a ball-carrier period.

The fact that Powell can be compared to the most elusive receiver in the NFL speaks volumes of what he can bring to the table. Yet despite what he did in the exhibition season he has been a healthy scratch every game so far this season.

Since they’re already carrying him on the active roster, this could be a great opportunity to see what he can do. Which also leads us to ponder why they would keep him on the roster and not play him at all so far…