Powell attended Bedford High School in Bedford, Ohio. He was rated by Rivals.com as a three-star recruit and was scouted by several large NCAA Division I universities including, but not limited to: Michigan State, Minnesota, West Virginia and Ohio State. Immediately following the resignation of then-Ohio State head coach Jim Tressel, Powell committed to Ohio State on June 1, 2011. 
Powell began his collegiate career as a backup Safety to Corey Brown. Powell would appear in all 14 games with five starts as a redshirt freshman in 2013, including a starting appearance at Safety in the Orange Bowl.  He would conclude the season with 48 tackles and one interception.
As a sophomore in 2014, he started all 15 games, recording 76 tackles and four interceptions. He was named the Defensive MVP of the 2015 College Football Playoff National Championship victory over Oregon Ducks after he had a game-high nine tackles.  
|Year||Team||GP||Tackles||For Loss||Passes Def||Int||FF|
|Ht||Wt||40‑yd dash||10-yd split||20-yd split||20‑ss||3‑cone||Vert jump||Broad||BP|
| 6 ft 3 in |
| 211 lb |
|4.46 s||1.59 s||2.62 s||4.25 s||7.03 s|| 34 1 ⁄ 2 in |
| 10 ft 0 in |
|All values from NFL Combine |
On February 6, 2017, Powell was claimed off waivers by the Cleveland Browns. He was waived by the Browns on June 9, 2017.
On June 12, 2017, Powell was claimed off waivers by the Indianapolis Colts. He was waived/injured on September 2, 2017 and was placed on injured reserve. He was released on September 12, 2017.
Seattle Seahawks (second stint)
On September 19, 2017, Powell was signed to the Seahawks' practice squad. He was released on September 26, 2017 but re-signed a few days later. He was released on October 24, 2017. 
San Francisco 49ers