Bill Haas

Browns draft David Bell: Could Purdue receiver end up replacing Jarvis Landry?


NFL Draft 2022 tracker: Live blog and pick-by-pick analysis

The ongoing remake of the Browns’ wide receiver room continued Friday night with a player who could become Jarvis Landry’s replacement, former Purdue wide receiver David Bell.

The Browns selected Bell with the last of their three third-round picks at No. 99 overall. While the earlier selections of cornerback Martin Emerson and defensive end Alex Wright were “traits” picks based on athleticism and developmental upside, the Bell pick is about adding a sure-handed wide receiver who can help move the chains at the short and intermediate levels.

It’s not fair to Bell to say he can instantly become Landry, who was a team leader on and off the field and has long been a high-level producer. But Bell’s skill set indicates he can do some of the things Landry did over the last four years, and maybe Bell eventually can catch a bunch of passes from Deshaun Watson.

The Browns cut Landry in March, and though various reports have cited mutual interest in a possible reunion, the Bell pick makes that less likely. Though Bell is just 21, he’s considered to be NFL ready and was available at the end of the third round simply because he’s not as fast as the wide receivers selected before him.

Draft grades: Sheil Kapadia weighs in on the picks
Big board best available: Who’s left from Dane Brugler’s Top 300?

Big board ranking: Bell ranked No. 95 on Dane Brugler’s list of the top 300 prospects. Brugler wrote that Bell “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.”

Introduction: The Browns tracked Bell throughout the draft process and never believed he’d light up the athletic testing portion of it. Browns general manager Andrew Berry said Bell has “some of the best hands in this draft class and is very savvy as a route runner, very nuanced and polished.” Every draft pick is a projection, but the Browns saw Bell as less of one than many of his draft-class peers. They think he’ll get open, and they’ll expect Watson to find him.

How he fits: Behind Amari Cooper are two young and uber-athletic holdovers from last year, Donovan Peoples-Jones and Anthony Schwartz. Almost everything with the Browns passing game is new from last year, and though the franchise won’t force anything upon Bell, they’ll expect him to learn the offense and have opportunities to earn immediate playing time. The passing game will need time to find its footing on multiple fronts, and that might work in Bell’s favor.

Second guess? The Browns could have gone for a faster wide receiver. They also could have gone with a tight end or defensive lineman, but they think Bell can win a role immediately and help them make the kind of plays in the passing game they too often missed last year. This is a smart, solid pick at No. 99.

Rookie impact: There’s a good chance Bell plays immediately. The Browns aren’t done adding to the receiving corps, and though Cooper is almost certainly going to be the top target, once Watson gets comfortable, there should be lots of chances for the other wide receivers. Those who get open and make contested catches will earn more opportunities.

Depth-chart impact: Cooper is the Browns’ clear No. 1 wide receiver. Peoples-Jones and Schwartz are more dangerous vertical threats, but don’t be surprised if Bell is instantly better at weaving his way through zones and finding open space.

Fast evaluation: Nice pick. The Browns needed a receiver, and going back to the start of the night, we can fairly guess they expected Bell to still be available here. The receiving corps isn’t done, and no 21-year-old rookie is a cinch to be an immediate producer. But the Browns seem to have a great feel for Bell’s strengths and weaknesses, and with much unsettled in the receiving corps, they think he’ll be steady enough to provide a boost.

(Photo: Zach Bolinger / Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)

Source

pgagameday
Welcome to GameDay.Blog Powered by SportsBook-Live.com. Please register to our site, As more States become Available for Online Gambling, We will automatically upgrade your status from Subscriber to Player. Please note we are not affilliated in any way with ESPN, CBS Sports, Home depot or CitiBank GameDay Programs. https://gameday.blog
http://pga.gameday.blog