Scouting the NFL Draft: S Vonn Bell

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Von Bell, S, Ohio State
Ht. 5'11", Wt. 199, Arm: 32 ⅜", Hand: 9 ½", Bench: 16
40 yd: 4.51, 10 yd.: -, 3 Cone: -, Vertical: 30.5", Broad: -
Games Watched: Michigan St. (2014), Hawaii, Michigan St.

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Five-star safety Vonn Bell 5-star was part of a standout 2013 Ohio State recruiting class that boasts four potential first-round picks in the 2016 NFL Draft. He worked his way into a reserve role as a true freshman, appearing in eight games as a nickel defensive back. He was named a starter for the Orange Bowl against Clemson where he recorded 7 tackles and a key interception.

Bell became a full-time starter in the Buckeyes' secondary as a sophomore. He recorded a Big Ten-leading 6 INTs and also tallied 92 tackles and 6 passes broken up for the national champions. His stats fell off a bit as a junior, but his recognition did not, being named a first-team All-America and Thorpe Award semifinalist.

Strengths

• Man Coverage - Capable of shutting down bigger receivers
• Ballhawk - Hands, plays ball well
• Instincts - Diagnoses quickly, rarely fooled
• Feet - Efficient in backpedal
• Closing Speed - Gets downhill quickly
• Hips - Fluid in transition
• Disciplined - Knows, executes role

Weaknesses

• Athleticism - Doesn't stand out
• Tentative - Passive in run support
• Physicality - Not overly physical
• Tackling - Misses too many for a safety
• Shedding - Elusive, but struggles to disengage
• Speed - Not sure he covers enough area to be a single-high

Verdict: Second-Round Pick

Bell is a solid free safety prospect. He doesn't appear to have the speed to be a top free safety and he's not technical or physical enough to be a force against the run. That said, his coverage skills, instincts and ability at the catch point will help him find a home in an NFL secondary.

The Cowboys need another safety to pair with Byron Jones, who's slated to be the single-high safety next season. The problem is that Bell is also at his best — though not as good as Jones — in a single-high role. Unless the Cowboys plan to run more Cover-2 and Cover-4 looks, there will likely be better options at the position.

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