Hed: 5 things to know about WR David Bell
Subhed: The Browns drafted Bell with their final pick of Day 3
The Browns added to the receiver room to close out Day 2 on Friday by drafting WR David Bell with the 99th overall pick, one of the best receivers available on Day 2.
Here's five things to know about the Browns' newest pass-catching addition:
1. Bell has a decorated college resume
For a third-round pick, Bell's college resume at Purdue couldn't be much stronger.
Bell was a First Team All-American in 2021 after he totaled 1,286 receiving yards and six touchdowns and was also named the Big Ten WR of the Year. He's won major awards each of his three years with the Boilermakers, including Big Ten Freshman of the Year in 2019 and a First Team All-Big Ten selection in 2020. He also led all FBS players with 101.2 receiving yards per game.
2. Bell's best trait is his reliable hands
It's the first thing Executive Vice President and GM Andrew Berry said when he discussed what he liked most about Bell.
Bell caught a whopping 232 passes at Purdue and had just 11 drops in his three seasons. That's an incredible ratio and isn't something the Browns ignored when they were looking to address the receiver position, one of their biggest needs of the draft. The Browns have not added two sure-handed receivers this offseason with Amari Cooper and now Bell, and it's a safe bet that the Browns drafted Bell with an eye on using him immediately in a big role as a rookie.
3. The Browns believe he has the tools to play inside and in the slot
Those reliable hands and crisp route-running are the top traits needed to play in the slot, a position that was open for the Browns after they released Jarvis Landry earlier this offseason.
Bell is 6-feet tall and 212 pounds, so he has the frame for the position, too. He played both roles in college, and the plan Berry outlined Friday suggests that the Browns are ready to play Bell mostly from the slot immediately.
"We think he's a guy who can really play both outside and inside," Berry said, "but we think that he can really make a living with his size, his savvy and his hands in the slot."
4. Bell was a top receiver recruit out of high school
Bell was ranked the 19th WR recruit in 2019 and had offers from Indiana, Iowa, Ohio State, Penn State and Purdue. He picked the Boilermakers and preferred to stay close to home, particularly so his disabled grandmother could see him play.
He also played basketball at Warren Central High School and led them to an undefeated 2017-18 season. He was given the 2018 Gatorade State Player of the Year and was a U.S. Army All-American.
5. He called Greg Newsome II the toughest cornerback he's ever faced
Bell and Newsome played against each other on Nov. 24 in 2020. Newsome collected two pass breakups, although Bell still managed to catch nine passes for 78 yards. That matchup has stuck for a while in Bell's mind. He called Newsome the toughest cornerback he’s ever faced when he was asked the question at the Combine.
Now, they're teammates.