Ht – 6’0” Wt – 212lb Class – JR Age – 21
2021 Stats – 93 Rec, 1286 Yds, 6 TD (11 Games Played)
Career Stats – 232 Rec, 2946 Yds, 21 TD (29 Games Played)
Hands & Ball Skills – Unreal ball skills. It’s almost as if his brain is wired to ALWAYS catch the ball no matter what. He had a plethora of diving or off-balance catches. His hands are extremely sticky, and when thrown to (and not interfered with) he usually comes down with the ball.
Contested Catch – He isn’t as dominant of a contested-catch receiver, but he is more than capable of coming down with tough 50-50 balls.
Size & Speed – This is an area of concern for Bell. He has average height and doesn’t have the proper size to handle very tough and physical NFL Corners. Additionally, his speed is very pedestrian. His long speed is good, and when he has the time to pick up speed he can reach above-average speeds, but his short-area burst isn’t ideal.
Release – Great release package. He has lightning-quick feet and his hand-jam deconstruction is precise. His release technique is great, and while he did get jammed a few times he should be fine handling press.
Routes & Separation – Bell is a precise route runner, but he lacks suddenness ad sharpness to his route breaks. He understands how to create separation with technique, but he lacks the speed and sharp cuts to do it consistently.
YAC – I expected him to be a lot better given his elite vision, but he was way too patient to consistently create yards. He navigates blocks well, and his ability to break the initial tackle is great when he has momentum, so this is a mixed bag.
Football IQ – Some athletes are receivers, and some receivers are athletes, Bell is the latter. More than an athlete, he is a natural receiver and understands the nuances of playing the position better than most. His positioning in zone coverage is elite and he creates separation despite not having top-end speed or sharp route running.
Combine – Coming in 2″ shorter than expected and putting up average numbers across the board isn’t ideal. As a possession receiver, this does not bode well for Bell at all.
David Bell is a winner. He is a local legend in his hometown, going undefeated on his high-school basketball and football teams in multiple seasons. He is an ultra-competitive player and he is reportedly a great locker room presence.
Unfortunately for Bell, he isn’t an upper-echelon athlete, and his lack of speed combined with his frame is a bit concerning. He is also very average at most things, rather than being special at anything. Other than ball skills and football IQ, he lacks special traits. This was all on display during his very average Combine performance.
I view Bell as a high-floor, low-ceiling NFL player, and he could be a great pro for any team that takes him.
See David Bell’s overall ranking among other players on my Big Board.