Drafted: ROUND: 3 - Pick Number: 99 (CLE)
Draft Profile: BioDavid Bell put up incredible numbers during his senior year at Warren High School chalking up 1,542 yards and 22 touchdowns from 85 receptions. He was awarded the 2018 Gatorade State Player of the Year and given a four-star rating by ESPN as a result.
He was heavily recruited and opted to join Purdue where he made an immediate impact as a freshman. He tied for the Big Ten lead with 86 receptions for 1,035 yards and seven touchdowns and received the Big Ten Freshman of the Year award.
As a sophomore the next year he only played six games due to the season being cut short by COVID but still managed to lead the team with 53 receptions for 625 yards and eight touchdowns on the year.
As a junior in 2021, he broke out after his teammate Rondale Moore moved on the NFL - with 1275 yds on 93 receptions with 6 TDs and an impressive 114.5 QB rating when targeted. He was recognized as one of three finalists for the Biletnikoff Award, which recognizes the college football season's most outstanding receiver.
Scouting Report: Strengths
- Has a great release super quick off the line of scrimmage with good change-of-direction ability with excellent agility and dukes defenders in the open field
- Has long arms to stiff-arm defensive backs in the open field. Willing to lower his pads to run through tackles for extra yardage. Goes over the middle, can spin out of tackles, and take the big hit.
- Very good athlete with a nice combination size, quickness, and length
- Does not have exceptional straight-line speed but takes advantage of open seams when his quarterback is on target - and we have seen him caught from behind
- A versatile weapon, proving to be effective inside in the slot and outside on the perimeter. Makes plays at all levels of the field.
- A savvy, natural pass-catcher with reliable soft hands and very good focus. Snatches the ball out of the air in contested-catch situations and shows the concentration to make acrobatic catches look easy.
- Really developed quality body control this translates into route running where he despite not having elite speed has become almost unbeatable on intermediate and deep routes
- Has a knack for getting open and is a quarterback's best friend - passers just need to toss the ball in his area and he'll come down with it.
- Has a nice bag of tricks and is excellent with fakes and jukes to gain separtion
- Strong runner with the ball with enough agility to make defenders miss in the open field.
- Good effort and technique as a blocker for his size. Can beat the press with elusiveness or physical contact. Runs crisp routes with sharp cuts.
- No major injury history to report
Scouting Report: Weaknesses
- Does not always use his hands to secure deep throws, allowing the ball into his pads and chest.
- Has good, not elite speed and may not be able to beat the best NFL corners with speed alone
- Sometimes comes off the snap high and upright, and doesn't always get to top speed quickly
- Only ran a limited route tree at Purdue
- Gives very little effort as a blocker in the running game - must improve at the next level
- Not very versatile - used mainly on the outside very little experience in the slot
Scouting Report: SummaryDavid Bell is a quality NFL prospect with pretty much everything you look for in an outside receiver, he's got nice soft hands, runs good routes - with the ability to make defenders miss, as well as ideal size for the position. He also has consistently put up good numbers and dominated wherever he has played.
The only issue that will likely keep him out of the first round of the 2022 NFL Draft is his lack of elite speed and the second gear to beat faster corners - it will be interesting to see how he runs at the combine.
Bell is a likely starter on the outside at the next level who will likely be used as a short to an intermediate-range receiver. We expect Bell to hear his name called anywhere from the second to the third round next April at the NFL Draft.
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