Auburn’s defense lost another one.
Cornerback Jerraud Powers announced his intention Tuesday to forgo his senior season and declare for the 2009 NFL draft.
Powers joins defensive tackle Sen’Derrick Marks in bypassing his senior season to join the NFL. Defensive end Antonio Coleman elected to return to Auburn next season.
“I want to thank the Auburn nation for their support during my career,” Powers said in a news release from the school. “It was a very tough decision, but I did what God wanted me to do and what was best for my family and me. I’m thankful for my time at Auburn and will have nothing but fond memories.”
The 5-foot-9, 191-pound cornerback started 23 games in his career, finishing with 136 tackles and six interceptions.
He was a freshman All-SEC selection in 2006 and tied for the team lead with four interceptions in 2007, earning the Zeke Smith Award, presented annually to Auburn’s top defender.
He started 10 games last season but was limited by a hamstring pull suffered in early October against Vanderbilt. He finished sixth on the team with 47 tackles, adding two interceptions.
Powers isn’t projected to be taken on the first day of April’s draft, if at all.
His absence doesn’t necessarily leave Auburn depleted at cornerback.
Walt McFadden, who started all 12 games last year, returns for his senior season, along with Aairon Savage, a projected starter last season before an August knee injury cost him the season.
Auburn also has three rising sophomores who played last year.
Neiko Thorpe was the Tigers’ primary nickelback. D’Antoine Hood (Central-Phenix City) and Harry Adams played when Auburn’s injuries mounted near the end of the season.
T’Sharvan Bell, who redshirted last year, also could be in the mix.