The Broncos agreed to terms with left guard Ben Powers, 26, on a four-year, $52 million contract on Monday. Given the guarantees in the deal, Powers is likely locked in with the Broncos for two years, at which point the Broncos could save nearly $9 million by moving on from Powers. The contract can’t be made official until Wednesday, when the new league year begins.

Powers was a fourth-round draft pick of the Ravens in 2019 and spent all four years of his career in Baltimore. He hardly saw the field as a rookie and was a part-time starter in 2020 and took over the left guard job in 2021 after Tyre Phillips went down with a Week 1 injury. His breakout came in 2022, when he started every game.

All told, Powers appeared in 47 games with 36 starts over four seasons. He’s missed four games to injury in the past three seasons, with all four coming in 2021.

Depending on where you go for advanced stats, you’ll get a wide range of responses about Powers’ performance when run blocking last season. Sports Information Systems says he was one of the best. Pro Football Focus says he’s one of the worst.

Everybody agrees that Powers was one of the best pass blockers in the league.

Today, we’re going to take a look back at the Broncos-Ravens matchup from early-December matchup—a game I know we’re all excited to relive—to see how Powers stacked up against some familiar faces.

At 6-foot-4 and 338 pounds, Powers’ game is simple: If he gets his hands on you, the play might as well be over. But he isn’t the most mobile guard—which is to be expected given his size—so getting his hands on defenders can sometimes be difficult.

In pass protection, when Powers can sit back and let rushers come to him, he’s almost unbeatable.

Here is Powers (#72) taking on Dre’Mont Jones:

Powers locked up Jones and then held his ground. There’s nothing special about that rep. It’s just another down for Ben Powers.

Here he is going up against DJ Jones:

I won’t cut every clean pass-blocking play from Powers in this game. You’ll have to trust me that nine times out of ten, Powers looks just like that.

And if you don’t believe me, here’s a fun stat: Powers didn’t give up a sack during the regular season. Only two other guards, James Daniels and Zack Martin, played as many snaps as Powers last season and didn’t give up a sack. Both of them gave up more quarterback hits, hurries and total pressures.

When Powers doesn’t have work in pass protection, he’s a very good help blocker. His size and strength make any double-team an automatic win and being the second man on the job means he won’t have to hit a moving target.

The more interesting part of Powers’ game is his run-blocking. He has clear strengths—like his strength—but his mobility can hold him back.

Powers is very good at holding his ground. He’s alright at pushing defenders backward, but his best skill is not being pushed backward himself. In this play, Powers doesn’t get much push and, more importantly, can’t out-leverage DJ Jones to seal the hole.

Later in the game, Powers is able to get leverage, turn Jones outside and open up a hole behind himself.

As a left guard, Powers is often asked to pull and lead the way on run plays. He generally excels in this role. When his job is to hit a man in the hole, he’s great because he typically gets to hit a stationary target.

Alex Singleton did a great job holding his ground on that play. Others were not so lucky.

It’s an awkward play. Nik Bonitto goes low in an effort to not be blown backward. Powers just runs full steam ahead. Bonitto actually does a pretty good job preventing the runner from bouncing outside, but Powers leaves no opportunity for Bonitto to make a tackle.

Here’s a similar play, but this time Jake Martin is setting the edge:

And another simple pull to the edge to take Martin out of the play:

Powers didn’t have any highlight-reel-worthy pulls in this game—he usually does—but he was effective… at least for the most part.

The lack of agility and lateral mobility showed up in that rep, when he just couldn’t quite get to either of the defenders in time to take them out of the play.

The lack of mobility really shows up on the next play, but the play caller probably deserves more of the blame than Powers, who can’t get out in front of the jet sweep.

I’m not sure what the goal of that play was. It looks like they’re trying to clear out a hole behind the right tackle, potentially with Powers as a lead blocker, but you rarely see a jet sweep designed to cut inside. It would ruin the point of the play, which is to give the ball to a player who is already at top speed. Was he supposed to hit the brakes and turn upfield? The fullback doesn’t seem to think so.

So why would you ask Powers to try to outrun Devin Duvernay to the edge? It just won’t happen.

And that’s the story of Ben Powers; if he gets his hands on you, you’re probably done for. But play callers need to remember that if you’re trying to get him to the second level of the defense, or lead a sweep to the right side, there’s a real chance he won’t get his hands on anybody.

And, of course, Powers isn’t perfect even when he gets his hands on his defender. He just bats a great percentage. Mike Purcell got him on the Ravens’ game-winning touchdown.

Powers is a great pass protector and a run-blocker with very clear strengths and a couple of deficiencies worth keeping an eye on. He’s well worth his contract, he’s well worth getting excited about, and he and Quinn Meinerz could grow into one of the league’s best guard tandems in the league.

We’re ending on a high note; here’s a cutup of Powers’ best plays of 2022:

Click here for our Film Room on new Broncos right tackle Mike McGlinchey.

Click here for our Film Room on new Broncos defensive lineman Zach Allen.


Henry was born in Columbia Falls, Montana and graduated from Columbia Falls High School in 2015. He earned bachelor's degrees in journalism and economics from the University of Montana in 2019. After graduation, he joined DNVR. He spent three years covering the University of Colorado before moving to the Broncos beat ahead of the 2022 season. Henry joined DNVR as a remote staff writer in 2017, providing support to BSN's Broncos beat reporters. He interned at DNVR headquarters in the summer of 2018 and accepted a full-time position after graduating from UM. Follow Henry on Twitter - @HenryChisholm