Rumors out there that the Broncos are looking for a bigger running back, and Le'Veon Bell is a guy who they could target. According to CBSSports.com Bell ranks as the 134th overall prospect in Aprils NFL Draft and the 10th overall running back in the draft. Bell weighed in at 6'1 230lbs and ran a 4.6 40 time at the combine. Bell looks to be a day 3 selection.
Bell enjoyed a very productive 3 year career at Michigan State. In his 3 years at Michigan State Bell totaled 3,346 yards rushing, 33 TDs and averaged 5.0 yards per carry. His best season came in 2012 when Bell totaled 1,793 yards rushing, 12 TD's and averaged 4.7 yards per carry. Bell also contributed in the passing game in 2012. Bell totaled 32 receptions for 167 yards and 1 TD.
Height / Weight: 6-2 / 237
Born Feb. 18, 1992 (21)
Majoring in Sociology
CAREER NOTES: Powerful and explosive three-year letterwinner rushed for 3,346 yards and 33 touchdowns in 40 career games . . . finished his career ranked among MSU's all-time leaders in rushing TDs (sixth with 33), rushing attempts (sixth with 671), rushing yards (seventh with 3,346) and all-purpose yards (ninth with 4,114) . . . had 12 career 100-yard rushing games, which is eighth most in MSU history . . . talented all-around back had 78 career receptions for 531 yards (6.8 avg.).
CAREER IN BOWL GAMES: In three bowl games, had 206 rushing yards on 53 carries (68.7 ypg.; 3.9 avg.) . . . named Offensive Player of the Game in the 2012 Buffalo Wild Wings Bowl after rushing for a game-high 145 yards and one touchdown on 32 carries in MSU's win over TCU . . . rushed for 48 yards on 17 carries (2.8 avg.), including TD runs of 8 yards and 1 yard, in the triple-overtime win over No. 18 Georgia in the 2012 Outback Bowl; also had five receptions for 39 yards . . . his 1-yard TD against the Bulldogs with 14 seconds left in the fourth quarter tied the score at 27 and sent the game into overtime . . . had 13 rushing yards on four carries vs. No. 15 Alabama in the 2011 Capital One Bowl.
Carries: 44, vs. Boise State (8/31/12)
Rushing Yards: 266, vs. Minnesota (11/24/12)
Rushing TDs: 3, twice (last vs. Central Michigan, 9/24/11)
Receptions: 8, vs. Ohio State (9/29/12)
Receiving Yards: 58, vs. Ohio State (9/29/12)
Kick Return: 27, vs. Wisconsin (10/2/10)
NFL.com Scouting Report on Le'Veon Bell:
Big, bruising back with power in his lower body but lighter feet than you’d expect give his size. North-south runner effective in one and two-back sets. Strong cuts and a nice burst out of them makes him capable of breaking off big runs when the hole is available. Sets up defenders in the open field to cut away. Flashes some stop-start ability and shake in space that freezes oncoming defenders. Pushes piles with lower body strength. Can lower his pads for contact, churn through tackle attempts to become difficult to bring down due to second and third efforts. Wiggles and pushes through traffic inside to get the extra yard after it looks as though he’s stopped. Possesses a spin move to come off tackles at the second level, maintains balance to keep on moving or at least fall forward for an extra couple of yards. Uses a strong stiff arm in space, as well. Agile enough to jump over defenders trying to cut him down in the open field. Used in Wildcat formation in the red zone. Decent receiver out of the backfield.
Taller back who presents a big target for defenders to hit, especially when failing to lower his pads going into the hole. Size also limits his breakaway speed and ability to create on his own if challenged by better front sevens.Sub par vision prevents him from seeing cut back lines and sees him running up the back of his lead blocker too often. Pass protection form is inconsistent, has size to handle rushers or at least push them around the pocket, but often moves his feet too slowly or tries to cut instead of setting to anchor. Holds the ball away from his body at times, though he doesn’t fumble very often.
NFL COMPARISON: LeGarrette Blount
Bell has monster size, but also shows nimble feet. Can make people miss at any level of the field, but doesn't have very good vision. As the season progressed, Bell's lateral agility declined. Bell proved capable of handling a tremendous amount of touches. To become a full-time back though, Bell will need to continue to improve his ability as a pass catcher or become a more consistent blocker, in addition to improving his vision as a runner.
NFL Combine Results:
40 Time: 4.60
Bench Press: 24 reps
Vertical Jump: 31.5 inches
Broad Jump: 118 inches
3 Cone Drill: 6.75 seconds (Top Performer in that drill)
20 Yard Shuttle: 4.24 seconds
CBSSports.com Scouting Report on Le'Veon Bell:
Strengths: Strong-build and well proportioned with thick hips. Very good balance and stays low to the ground through contact. More of a downhill athlete who picks up speed as he goes. Stays light on his feet and has some deception to his game, slipping through cracks at the line of scrimmage.
Tough runner to bring down cleanly, often carrying defenders. Good forward lean and pop to deliver blows at the point of attack. Not afraid to leave his feet to leap over defenders. Active receiver with good awareness in pass pro to pick up blitzes. Led Big Ten in rushing in 2012 (1,793 yards) with three 200-yard performances.
Weaknesses: Not overly powerful despite his size and lacks breakaway speed to leave defenders in the dust. Smooth acceleration but not a burner and shows little burst in his cuts.
Lacks speed on stretch plays and won't be able to make a living in the NFL going east/west as much as he did in college. Too hesitant and patient at times and gets himself in trouble when he stops his feet, taking time to survey the field and figure it his next move. Wears down late in games and at times looks to have checked out.
Needs technique work in pass protection, leaving his feet too often and struggling to square his shoulders and gain proper positioning. Hands are normally reliable but will struggle on passes away from his frame. Has a lot of touches on his resume. Some rumblings that he is a "me-first" player.
National Football Post Scouting Report on Bell:
STRENGTHS - Bell definitely looks the part of an NFL back "on the hoof." Possessing excellent playing strength, good balance and agility, he is consistently able to run through arm/grab tackles to gain yards after contact. Despite running upright much of the time, Bell is consistently able to get shoulders down to make himself a smaller target and to deliver a blow to tackler. His strong and aggressive running style helps him to break tackles often. An instinctive runner, Bell is able to find open space/hole. When he stays focused on his blocking technique and gives a good effort, he has the strength to be a good pass blocker. Although not a big part of Michigan State's passing attack, he has shown soft hands catching the ball out of the backfield.
WEAKNESSES - A one speed runner who lacks explosiveness through the hole, Bell will need to improve in this area of the holes will close before he can get through them in the NFL. Much more of a smooth and fluid athlete than a quick twitch one, he cannot change directions in a flash to make tacklers miss consistently. He lacks the quick COD ability and burst to bounce runs outside and get around the corner. His lack of top end speed limits his ability to out-run angles and score long touchdowns. While he has the talent to be good in pass protection, too often his technique is sloppy and he does not stay after and finish block, which leads to him missing blocks. If he does not improve in pass pro, he will not be able to contribute catching passes out of the backfield.
I'm not to sold on Bell. He's a one speed runner and doesn't have the power that you would expect from a guy who weighs 230+ pounds. Also i'm personally not a big fan of taller running backs, it leaves his legs open to bigger hits and injuries. Also his pass protection isn't the best, and as we saw with Ronnie Hillman, if you cannot protect Peyton, you won't be out there. Bell should be available in the 4th-5th rounds, but i would rather look elsewhere.