The 61st overall pick in the 2016 NFL draft Vonn Bell went to the decimated secondary of the New Orleans Saints. Not only did the Saints feel that Bell was worthy of a second round pick, they traded up for him. With one full season under his belt, let’s see what we have to look forward to from Bell!
Pledging himself to The Ohio State, Bell was considered a top 30 recruit. He gave Ohio State 3 years until he entered the NFL draft and proved with 2 seasons that he was in fact NFL-caliber material. As you can see below, he was very productive for the top ranked Buckeyes elevating his draft status.
|Games||Solo tckl||Ast||Total tckl||Sacks||Int|| |
Versatility – Bell not only suited up as a FS, which is what he played at Ohio State, but he also filled in at CB, SAM, MLB, SS, and DB. He was barely called upon in the first 3 games of the season, but when the Saints visited the Chargers, Sean Payton let him loose on 98.6% possible defensive snaps. After that, Bell was on the field for a minimum of 93% defensive snaps for the rest of the season finishing with 87 tackles, 1 sack, 2 FF, 1 FR, and 4 PD.
Utilization – I already touched on how much Bell was used and the different positions he was asked to play. Bell is in the right spot at the right time but I am mostly talking about the team he is on. The Saints’ defense looks a lot like the 9th ward after Hurricane Rob Ryan passed through. He will be plugged in all over the secondary again this year, but that doesn’t necessarily mean his numbers are going to jump off the page. He will be the other feature safety in New Orleans opposite of Kenny Vaccaro.
Size – This was one of his knocks entering the draft. Some labeled him as “lanky,” standing at 5’11” and 205 pounds. That’s pretty standard size for a defensive back. But not when asking him to play MLB like the Saints did against the Seahawks in Week 7, where he posted one of his worst outings of 3 total tackles. This lack of size is concerning regarding news coming from Saints training camp that RB Daniel Lasco laid him out in the back field and WR Brandon Coleman brushed through a “lazy” push tackle to score a TD.
Honestly, just another DB either sitting on the waiver wire or someone’s roster without much use.