Scouting Report: Kenny Bell, WR, Nebraska
Traditionally speaking, you don’t see a lot of big time receiving talent coming out of Nebraska. We made that point last year when we reviewed Quincy Enunwa. Kenny Bell is a better prospect than Enunwa because he’s so devastating both in terms of speed and agility. He also shares some of the traits we loved with Enunwa in terms of playing with an always-on motor and blocking with passion.
Bell is not a big name—even after dropping an amazing combine performance. I’m not sure why, because this kid’s film is pretty damn good.
Here’s a little Kenny Bell on Kenny Bell from his combine presser.
“The thing that I bring to the table as a wide receiver is consistency and I’m reliable. You can rely on me to make big plays when they need to be made and I consistently catch the ball, do my assignments, and I’m consistently reliable both on and off the field. In this day and age I think it’s very, very important for guys to be just as reliable off the field as on the field.”
When asked what his strengths were, Bell was humble and left a lot of things out.
“My intelligence. Not that I’m much smarter or that any other player lacks intelligence, but I think my on-the-field IQ and my field vision is a strength.”
Bell, like Maxx Williams, has a father who played in the NFL. He’s a passionate kid and he says he’ll bring some “sparkle” to a locker room but also a serious work ethic. It’s hard to not like this kid and if anybody was hoping to be turned off by his combine performance, they can forget it. He lit the joint up.
- Height - 6’1”
- Weight - 197
- Hand - 9 1/4”
- Arm - 31 5/8”
- Bench - 7
- Vertical Jump - 41.5”
- Broad Jump - 10’9”
- 40 - 4.42
- 3 Cone - 6.66
- 20 Yd Shuttle - 4.15
- 60 Yd Shuttle - 11.60
Holy schnikes! That’s some serious agility and explosion right there and the good news is that you see all these things on Bell’s game film. The only number that concerns me is 7 reps on the bench, so some strength training is in order. In fairness, he shows some strength as a blocker.
- Size - Bell stands relatively tall at six foot one.
- Speed - He’s fast on game day and he was fast at the combine, so this is a big check in the plus column.
- Agility - Kenny ran the Satanic 3-cone (6.66) and that’s an impressive number to put it mildly. Only two receivers were better and both weigh less than Bell.
- Explosiveness - He’s fast and he gets going quickly, but you also see high-level explosiveness in his 41.5” vertical and 10’9” broad jump.
- Toughness - You won’t have to watch much film to figure this out. Bell likes contact and will go after the ball in a crowd.
- Routes - He lacks nuance and savvy as a route runner but he does plenty of things well. He gets out of breaks well and gets good separation. His lack of upper body strength is an issue near the sidelines and he needs to keep his route discipline on deeper sideline routes and not get worked to the boundary.
- Hands - Doesn't catch the ball as cleanly as we'd like, but he's not a body-catcher and he tends to make the play. It also doesn't help that he played with a bunch of inaccurate quarterbacks. We anticipate that he'll get a better quarterback at the NFL level.
- Big play ability - Bell was by far the most dangerous receiver at Nebraska over the last few years. He’s been a focal point of defenses the last two seasons and yet he still made a lot of big plays.
- Blocking - He needs to get stronger up top, but Bell is an effective and a very willing blocker who gets low and uses leverage well.
- Production - When you consider the quarterbacks he's been paired with, Bell's numbers are very respectable.
Here’s a look at Bell against Miami from the 2014 season. You see some good examples of his blocking tenacity on this one.
In this game against UCLA, you see Bell’s explosiveness and the ability to make the first defender miss.
Kenny Bell needs to refine his game a bit, like most rookies do. Particularly rookie receivers who are coming out of Nebraska’s run-heavy scheme. To be clear, I’m not blaming the scheme for anything as much as pointing out that receivers don’t get tons of reps in that offense. Bell could use a little more strength and just a few extra pounds. Having said that, Bell is a kid we are inclined to bet on. He has a chance to be a very good NFL receiver in time and if he could definitely be a fantasy factor in the right situation.
Bell brings a broad skill set to the table. He’s got long speed and he’s got outstanding quickness and change of direction ability. He can go up and get the football in a crowd and he can stretch the field. He’s more than a willing blocker-he’s a tenacious one. Any NFL team would be nuts not to want Bell on their depth chart. He has the kind of talent that you can use right away, while still developing his full game.
Teams that I suspect will covet Bell include:
- New England
- San Francisco
Bell could be a value in long term formats depending on where he’s taken and by what team. I'll say this much, if Bell gets to the third day of the draft as most predict he will, some NFL team is going to get a serious bargain.
For those folks in long term leagues who miss out of the likes of Devin Smith and Phillip Dorsett, Bell could be a very nice consolation prize. One thing is for sure, Kenny Bell is coming to the NFL, and he’s a potential fantasy asset.
I’ll put a finer point on Bell’s fantasy appeal in our post-draft rookie rankings.
More 2015 Scouting Reports:
- Duke Johnson, RB, Miami
- Mike Davis, RB, South Carolina
- Kevin White, WR, West Virginia
- Amari Cooper, WR, Alabama
- Ameer Abdullah, RB, Nebraska
- Maxx Williams, TE, Minnesota
- Marcus Mariota, QB, Oregon
- Phillip Dorsett, WR, Miami
- Todd Gurley, RB, Georgia
- TJ Yeldon, RB, Alabama
- Tre McBride, WR, William & Mary
- Nelson Agholor, WR, USC
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