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Possible Eagles WR Target In The Third Round: David Bell

The Eagles are in the market for a wide receiver and will be searching through the draft for new talent. Wide receiver David Bell from Purdue could be a great fit for the Eagles. Bell has been projected to go towards the third round in a draft loaded with wide receiver talent. According to Pro Football Focus’ Mock Draft Simulator, Bell has an average draft position of 92.7 (mid to late third round).

David Bell’s College Career

David Bell set his roots as an Indiana man. He was born in Indianapolis and chose to play for Purdue over offers from Ohio State and Penn State. In his freshman and sophomore years combined, Bell had 15 touchdowns and over 1,600 receiving yards through 18 games.

Bell had a spectacular 2021 junior season at Purdue. He recorded 1286 receiving yards, 93 receptions, and six touchdowns. He ranked seventh in receiving yards and sixth in receptions among Power Five teams. 

Bell was a part of Purdue’s historic success as the Boilermakers were ranked in the AP Poll for the first time since 2007. On the road against No. 2 ranked Iowa, Bell had 11 catches for 240 yards and one touchdown. Purdue dethroned the Hawkeyes in a 24-7 victory.

Three weeks later, Purdue hosted No. 3 ranked Michigan State and Bell lit up the board again. He had 11 catches for 217 yards and one touchdown in a 40-29 win over the Spartans. Bell had more receiving yards than the next two Purdue receivers combined.

David Bell took home honors of being Consensus First-Team All-American, Richter–Howard Big Ten Receiver of the Year, and for his second-straight season being First-team All-Big Ten.

From his stats and performance alone, Bell would be a first-rounder or possibly early second-rounder. But what puts Bell further down in his draft stock are his Pre-draft measurables. Bell ran a 4.65 in the 40-yard dash (the NFL WR average is 4.48). In the 20-yard shuttle, Bell ran a 4.57, which is the slowest time out of all the wide receivers in the draft. His height of 6’7⁄8″ also puts him below the average height for NFL wide receivers.

Bell As An NFL Prospect

Despite having one of the worst NFL combine performances by a wide receiver, Bell can make up for it in other areas. He has good size and strength for the position. Bell has many examples of plays in which he overpowered cornerbacks trying to get their hands on him. He can find open spots in zone coverages when working over the middle.

The difference between good plays and touchdowns is determined by yards after the catch. Bell has good strength to bounce off cornerbacks with the ball in his hands and shows some burst to get extra yardage. With Bell’s speed being a concern in the NFL, Bell has the potential to be a valid weapon on underneath routes like slants.

Bell could thrive as a consistent target on the Eagles to complement DeVonta Smith. The Eagles need a player to be a consistent NFL-level second option. Quez Watkins is explosive but unable to fit that role thus far. David Bell could help fill that missing piece.

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