This year’s draft class is full of possibilities and one of the more lesser known receivers, Nebraska’s Kenny Bell, might be a great sleeper for your dynasty team. While fellow Cornhusker Ameer Abdullah is getting all the press, this young receiver had a promising college career. I reviewed three of his games against Fresno State, Illinois, and Northwestern to get a better feel for the attributes that he brings to the next level. Dynasty teams are sometimes built with the picks in the later rounds, perhaps Bell should be considered. Here is what I saw:
WR Kenny Bell, Nebraska 6’ 1” 197 lbs.
Cons: The receiver sometimes lets the ball too much into his body and suffers from concentration issues. He can be a bit lazy on his routes, either cutting them short or running sloppy. This makes him a liability especially near the end zone. Bell is more smooth than fast and doesn’t have more than one gear in his speed repertoire. This lack of dynamic ability makes him easy to substitute for a tight end in three receiver sets when the intension is to run, while trying not to look like it.
Pros: Bell lined up mostly on the outside, but occasionally lined up in the slot only to be sent in motion. The wide out uses his loose hips and quick feet to get off the line of scrimmage cleanly. He does a good job of shielding the pigskin from the defender and makes the most of his contested targets, ending up with most of them especially in the middle of the field. For a mostly run-based offense, Bell ran a surprisingly solid route tree. He has a better than average catch radius, and leaps up to grab the ball at its highest point if targeted in stride. There were several times the wide out would work back to the quarterback to bail the signal caller out once Bell sensed pressure. The receiver keeps chopping his feet while fighting for extra yardage on almost every play and uses stiff-arms to try to break tackles. A few times, the wide out would simply just swat a defensive back out of his way. His best attribute might be his run-blocking. Bell fires out, gets control of his defender and knocks them back. If you need him to get a legal cut block, the receiver can make those too.
Overall thoughts: I project him more as a third receiver at the next level, but if he ends up on a pass-first team, Bell might surprise. He is still on the raw side and might improve with NFL coaching. The receiver is worth a flier near the end of your rookie drafts, depending on the team he joins.