'Why David Bell?'
In the mold of Chris Godwin -- meshed with in-air & post-catch solutions of Allen Robinson II
Play speed & capabilities after the catch
David Bell has largely gone overlooked in this pre-draft process. No flashy metrics or breathtaking feats of athleticism - however, he is one of the best in this draft cycle after the catch.
Consistently throughout his career, he has shown impressive play strength, physicality and an innate understanding of ‘when to deploy what’ as a ball carrier.
I continually say “the faster you play, the faster you have to process information”
David Bell’s lack of accelerative capabilities & top-end speed can actually be advantageous in a sense of precision when it comes to timing.
Great feel for space, both in route and with the ball.
Nice job by Bell freezing the corner at the line. Really like the multi-dimensional solutions in space, the stiff arm to get to the boundary is a legitimate weapon in Bell’s physical toolbox.
You can also see the lack of top-end speed here, limits his big play ability.
Uses continued momentum against #0 to win engagement 1 and exhibits an impressive feel for the next defender's attempt at high contact.
Underrated decision-maker in space.
The play strength & physicality showing up again.
Even when hitting him square, still a tough out due to his ability to negate contact.
Release variation & through break transitions
Bell is a below-average surface-level athlete, with poor qualities in quickness & linear acceleration in comparison to starting-caliber NFL receivers. At the collegiate level, he masked this with precision in terms of timing & intent.
Those are his main tools of utilization when you talk about Bell at the line of scrimmage.
Not an overly broad toolbox - relies almost solely on understanding when to attack desired angles of operation.
Watch the subtle angular shift by the defensive back.
Takes a brief step towards midline - Bell attacks this to get positioning on his break.
Bell continually does a nice job in route of using his hands to create a barrier of entry.
It doesn’t always look pretty, but he gives himself enough space to make a play on the ball.
Has the body control to work away from frame & be productive on back shoulder concepts.
Can deviate path efficiently when working vertically, have to show the ability to change speed when you are working non-linear if you don’t have a 4th gear to run by defenders.
“QB friendly” is a phrase I put in my notes about Bell.
Makes himself available - able to bail his QB out.
We see the ability to path efficiently show up again along with understanding the spacing of the second defender.
Also, at the tail end of this play you can tell the lack of confidence Bell has in his play speed.
In-air athleticism & Catch concentration
There are plays in David Bell’s tape that I have to zoom-in, watch in slow motion or simply just grab a drink and enjoy it on repeat.
While he’s not an impressive surface level athlete, he can make eye-popping plays like this.
Another angle from an above play here.
When you watch Bell in contested situations you can always see how he well he times extension while walling off defenders.
Bell will be interesting to watch on double moves in the NFL. He sells them well, but doesn’t have the accelerative capabilities to re-accelerate while tracking flight patterns.
He can finish plays, but hard for him to create much space.
Uncanny ability to adjust to different flight paths.
Hard to defend someone who can do this consistently.
Some of the best hands in this draft cycle - plays like this are why.
Contact is imminent, still makes the play.
When I did my second watch of Bell, this is what stood out the most - the ability to absorb direct contact while still maintaining possession.
An asset over the middle of the field. Tough, reliable playmaker.
Tier 1: 75.00 & over -- Gold Jacket potential
Tier 2: 65.00 - 74.99 -- All-pro ceiling
Tier 3: 55.00 - 64.99 -- Pro-bowl ceiling
Tier 4: 49.98 - 54.99 -- High floor primary receiving option
Tier 5: 44.96 - 49.97 -- High ceiling / High-risk prospect
Tier 6: 39.50 - 44.95 -- Niche role player / spot producer
Tier 7: 39.49 & below -- Depth player with low ceiling