Photo of Le'Veon Bell
Drafted By: Steelers
  • Round 2
  • Pick 16
  • Overall 48

Combine Results

Grade
71.2 ?
  • 4.60 SEC
    Top Performer
  • 24 REPS
    Top Performer
  • 31.5 INCH
    Top Performer
  • 118.0 INCH
    Top Performer
  • 6.75 SEC
    Top Performer
  • 4.24 SEC
    Top Performer
Blue Star  =  Combine Top Performer

Draft Analysis:

"My concerns with him is he ran more east than west. However, that's easily correctable. He fits exactly what the Pittsburgh Steelers are. Once he gets those shoulders turned, he's a bear, and that's a great fit." -- Mike Mayock

  • 6'1" Height
  • 31 1/2" Arm Length
  • 230LBS. Weight
  • 9 5/8" Hands

Overview

Bell wasn't highly coveted by major programs early in the recruiting process, being offered by hometown Ohio State and others as a safety and nearly going to the MAC to play running back before Michigan State stepped up with their scholarship. But his senior season flourish (1,333 yards, 21 touchdowns) got MSU on his scent, and they've been happy for it ever since.


His start as a true freshman was so good that he joined the Doak Walker Award watch list during the season; most of his 605 rushing yards and eight scores came in the first six weeks of the year, before Edwin Baker finished off the year as the lead back. Bell flipped the script on Baker in 2011, however, starting the last six games after coming off the bench over the first eight (182-948, 13 TD; 35-267 receiving). Big Ten coaches named him honorable mention all-conference for his efforts.


In his junior season, Bell had the backfield all to himself, and the Spartans certainly got the most out of him. Bell carried the football 382 times, en route to rushing for 1,793 yards and 12 touchdowns, earning himself numerous postseason accolades.

Analysis

Strengths

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.

Weaknesses

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

Bottom Line

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.
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Grade Title Draft (Round) Description
96-100 Future Hall of Famer Top Pick A once-in-a-generation type prospect who could change how his position is played
85-95 Immediate Starter 1st An impact player with the ability/intangibles to become a Pro Bowl player. Expect to start immediately except in a unique situation (i.e. behind a veteran starter).
70-84 Eventual Starter 2nd-3rd A quality player who will contribute to the team early on and is expected to develop into a starter. A reliable player who brings value to the position.
50-69 Draftable Player 4th-7th A prospect with the ability to make team as a backup/role player. Needs to be a special teams contributor at applicable positions. Players in the high range of this category might have long-term potential.
20-49 Free Agent UDFA A player with solid measurables, intangibles, college achievements, or a developing skill that warrants an opportunity in an NFL camp. In the right situation, he could earn a place on a 53-man roster, but most likely will be a practice squad player or a camp body.

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