Chiefs’ Cornell Powell gaining trust of Patrick Mahomes at training camp

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The Kansas City Chiefs have a crowded receiver room this offseason, with over a dozen players at the position on the 90-man offseason roster. One rookie from that group is doing his best to stand out amongst the crowd.

The rookies have a few days with starting QB Patrick Mahomes before the veteran players arrive at training camp. Fifth-round draft pick Cornell Powell is looking to take advantage of this period by building up some more chemistry with the Chiefs’ star quarterback.

“It’s extremely important. We try to show him that we can come out and make plays Year 1,” Powell explained. “You want to gain his confidence, gain his trust and you do it by making plays in practice and in the preseason. When it comes to game time, he can look out there and he’s like ‘oh I trust that guy’ and go out there and keep doing what you’ve been doing.”

Mahomes won’t shy away from players just because they’re rookies, so it’s wise for Powell to seek to earn his trust. In 2019, Mahomes targeted then-rookie wideout Mecole Hardman 41 times. Still, Powell is experiencing his first NFL training camp and he’s jumping in head-first. He received some good advice ahead of camp on how he should carry himself during camp.

“I learned there’s nothing you can really do to get ready for training camp besides doing it and learning from experience,” Powell said. “So just coming out here, make sure your conditioning is up, making sure that you know the plays, knowing and being knowledgeable of the game and your assignment and your alignment will take you far. The rest of it is just football at the end of the day. You got to go out there and be a dog and make plays.”

For those hoping that Powell’s size and ability make him a replacement candidate for the departed Sammy Watkins, think again.

“Sammy (Watkins) is such a special talent; you can’t replace what he did,” Powell said. “You just got to go out there and fill your own shoes and try to make your own name for yourself.”

Despite wearing the same number as Watkins and going to the same college, Powell is out to make his own name for himself. He’s not interested in standing in Watkins’ shadow. If he can gain Mahomes’ trust and confidence ahead of the season, he’ll be well on his way to blazing his own trail in Kansas City.

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