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Jets take Louisville RB Powell in fourth round

The Jets' backfield just got a bit crowded.

With their fourth-round pick (No. 126 overall), they selected Louisville running back Bilal Powell, adding to a stable that already includes projected starter Shonn Greene, veteran LaDainian Tomlinson as well as Joe McKnight.

Powell became the fourth running back Rex Ryan has selected in his first 10 picks as the Jets' head coach. So needless to say, the 6-0, 215-pounder is going to have to come in and work himself into the rotation if he has any shot at seeing any significant time in is rookie season. 

"I do want to come compete," Powell said. "LaDainian Tomlinson is a good back, Shonn Greene is a good running back, and I just want to get under those guys, and learn the system and compete every day."

Powell burst onto the scene in his senior season. After starting just five times in his first three seasons and running for 933 yards, he exploded for 1,405 yards -- second only to Howard Stevens' 1,429 yards in 1971 -- and ran for 11 TDs. He averaged 117 yards per game and rattled off an 85-yard touchdown.

So why the huge jump in production?

"Just taking a different role," he said. "We had a new coaching staff come in and my role changed. They just gave me a different opportunity to play this year."

Powell had a few brushes with trouble as a youth. During his high school days in Lakeland, Fla., he spent time running with gangs and had his share of fights, among other things.

"I had a troubled life, kind of rebelled a litte bit," Powell said. "But I ended up getting saved going into my senior year [in high school] and it changed a lot of things for me."

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