David Bell NFL Draft 2022: Scouting Report for Purdue WR
HEIGHT: 6'0 7/8"
HAND: 9 1/4"
ARM: 31 7/8"
WINGSPAN: 6'4 5/8"
40-YARD DASH: 4.65
— Good size and strength for the position. Overpowers CBs trying to get their hands on him.
— Aligns inside and out. Can consistently find soft spots in zone coverages when working over the middle.
— Has the body control and ball skills to be a valid weapon on back-shoulder throws. Understands how to use his body to box out defenders.
— Can create yards after the catch with his strength and good balance. Bounces off CBs with the ball in his hands and flashes some burst to get north.
— Above-average hands with good catching range.
— Has the frame and strength to be a valid weapon on underneath routes like slants. Knows how to stay friendly to QBs and is willing to work over the middle.
— Not a burner, but has enough straight-line speed to threaten CBs on vertical routes.
— Has a tendency to push off defenders, which will be penalized more frequently in the NFL.
— Inconsistent with his route running. Will lack urgency and details.
— Average lateral quickness with the ball in his hands.
11 G, 93 REC, 1,286 YDS (13.8 AVG), 6 TD
— 2021 first-team All-American.
— 2021 Big Ten WR of the Year.
— 2021 first-team All-Big Ten.
— 2020 first-team All-Big Ten.
— 2019 Big Ten Freshman of the Year.
David Bell is a good-sized WR who can align inside and out in an offensive formation. He wins with his strength and body control, but he has enough athleticism to win on vertical routes and threaten cornerbacks just enough with his long speed.
Bell's body control and ball skills really flash on back-shoulder throws, on which he already shows a propensity to be a valid weapon. He is willing to work over the middle on underneath routes, where his frame and play strength make him a friendly option for quarterbacks.
While Bell can create some yards after the catch with his balance and core strength, he is not a burner and doesn't consistently make defenders miss in a phone booth. He also is inconsistent with his route-running technique and effort, and he'll need to continue to polish his technique and route tree in the NFL.
Bell tends to push off on defenders at the top of his routes, which will be penalized more often in the NFL. He also lacks detail on routes on more advanced parts of the route tree.
Overall, Bell projects as a No. 2 type of receiver who can align inside as a "Power Slot" and outside as a Z receiver. His strength, body control and ball skills will get him playing time early in his career, but he needs to continue working on his technique and overall effort to ascend to more.
GRADE: 7.2 (High-level Backup/Potential Starter - 3rd Round)
POSITION RANK: WR13
PRO COMPARISON: Joshua Palmer