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.
SUMMARY - While I completely agree with college running backs coming out early for the Draft if they have carried the ball alot during previous seasons, I think Bell will be dissappointed with where he ends up being selected. A strong and physical runner who can punish tacklers and consistently gains a lot of yards after contact, Bell will need to improve his body lean to carry over his production as a physical inside runner in the NFL. When I evaluated Bell I kept being reminded of the Falcons' Michael Turner. However, the issue is that Bell does not remind me of Michael Turner when he came out of Northern Illinois and had shocking quickness and speed for such a big, physical runner. Rather he reminds me of Turner as he is in 2012, which is lacking explosiveness through the hole and relying almost exclusively on strength, balance and competitiveness to be productive. Overall, Bell would be an excellent fourth round pick who has the tools to become a power back only and not a complete back, which is why he will not be a starter. It is a big concern that he lacks the speed to contribute as a special teams player as that will hurt him in a battle to beat out other backs to be the primary backup.