The Browns add their first offensive weapon of the draft.
With the 99th pick in the NFL Draft, the Cleveland Browns select WR David Bell
— Cleveland Browns (@Browns) April 30, 2022
Here is a scouting report from The Athletic’s Dane Brugler, who had Bell as his 13th-ranked wide receiver on his board, a projected 3rd round pick, and the No. 95th player overall in the entire draft:
A three-year starter at Purdue, Bell was the X receiver in head coach Jeff Brohm’s spread scheme, lining up both inside and outside. In his three seasons in West Lafayette, the Indianapolis native led the team in receiving each season and finished his career with 101.2 receiving yards per game (No. 1 among all active FBS players in 2021). Bell is a smooth, savvy pass catcher with dependable ball skills (4.7 percent career drop rate) and flashes Michael Pittman-like ability at times. He is efficient in and out of his routes, but his ability to uncover is based more on route subtleties and not route suddenness. Overall, Bell doesn’t have ideal speed or explosive traits by NFL standards, but he is a productive ball-winner with the body control and toughness that translate to the pro game. He projects as a high floor, low-ceiling NFL starter.
WR David Bell didn’t dominate at the combine, but he was ultra-productive for Purdue. FBS-high 67 catches on shallow or crossing routes since ’19, per @ESPNStatsInfo. #Browns banking Bell can complement No. 1 Amari Cooper underneath defenses (I like the pick here)
— Jake Trotter (@Jake_Trotter) April 30, 2022
PFF praises Bell for doing the “little things” to achieve good production:
And again, here is what Tim Miller said about Bell:
Interesting. I had WR David Bell in the 4th. Polished but no deep speed at all. Jarvis Landry speed but different playstyle (not a screen & RAC guy).
— Tim A. Miller (@Bumblyjack) April 30, 2022
How He Fits the Browns
This sounds like the Browns’ replacement for Rashard Higgins — not explosive, but efficient. Maybe he won’t end up in the coaches’ doghouse as much. A third round pick is a pretty high spot for a wide receiver, so with Amari Cooper, Donovan Peoples-Jones, and Anthony Schwartz on the roster — and possibly Jarvis Landry coming back — we’ll see who Bell can get ahead for playing time.
What do you think, Browns fans?