Updated: Jan 16
Written by George @UkNFLVoice on Twitter
Profile: Height: 6ft 2
Purdue has been a factory of reliable hardworking WR’s in the last few years. From the success of Rondale Moore going to the Arizona Cardinals last year, another star has been waiting patiently for his chance to join the league and he comes in a slightly different physical shape.
Moore was examined extensively by scouts pre-draft considering his height is 5ft 7” but a 4.33 speed can overlook even the most critical of evaluators. Yet this year Purdue is offering another prospect to the league that looks a little different.
At 6ft 2” and 205lbs Bell is an opposing figure at the line for corners and safeties alike. While he doesn’t have the burner speed that some of the wide receivers above him in the draft will possess. His ability to read a defence and make the necessary body adjustments to put himself in the position to make a catch and secure the ball mean he’s going to be sought after and a reliable target.
David Bell’s name has been well known across the college football landscape for many years now. Bursting onto the scene as a true freshman back in 2019 many scouts across the league have waited to see if he can continue to dominate the Big10. It was this fast start to his college career that earned him the Big10 ‘Freshman of the Year’ accolade.
Willingness to get physical before a ball is released without OPI
High football IQ
See the below video for a game-clinching catch by Bell back in 2020. From the moment the ball is snapped you see his movement to the side of the corner and he then maintains physical contact to leverage the space. As for the catch… wow!
Big Game Presence:
Despite the disappointing overall scoreline for Purdue against Ohio State, Bell still produced the most receiving yards for his team (103) that day and followed this up with his best performance of the year against Michigan State the following week with 217 yards from only 11 receptions.
A big factor for many evaluators when looking at receivers is how they perform against the best teams in the conference, Bell is showing that he can gain yards against some of the better defences. But, it’s also his willingness to use his size to provide blocking against opposing corners or come in the centre of the field to get at a linebacker that will attract attention.
What do the stats say?
Three key stats highlight how he has performed in 2021:
Third most first downs in college in 2021 regular season by a receiver
Zero fumbles or interceptions
Top 10 rating for contested catches
The ‘run’ on wide receivers in the first round will likely dictate when Bell’s name is called. There is a huge amount of buzz about the Ohio State wide receiver room alongside Alabama’s Jameson Williams but Bell will offer something slightly different and his height and weight will be a clear differentiator for many. Personally, I’d have him above George Pickens from Georgia and think he has the longevity to be more than a flash in the pan wide receiver in the league.
Projected: Mid 2nd round
Written by George - @UkNFLVoice