Blake Bell   TE/QB   Oklahoma

TALENT BOARD ROUND 3

STRENGTHS
One of the most intriguing players in this draft is Blake Bell. He started out as a quarterback and although he has excellent athletic talent and a strong arm, he struggled to put it all together. Blakeís mind was ahead of his body and under duress, he just could not get the two of them to work together. He saw the writing on the wall and decided in his last year to change to the tight end position. Blake has terrific overall athletic talent to play the tight end position. He has good speed and the size to be a mismatch for linebackers and defensive backs. He has strong hands that are needed to catch the ball in contested situations and he has always liked the physical part of the game at any position he has played. They didnít call him the Bell-Dozer for nothing. The called him that because when his team needed third down yardage or goal line yardage, Blake would put his head down and gain that need yardage more times than not. Blakeís potential to be an impact player is without a doubt at the surface just waiting for someone to develop. He could be an excellent tight end who will gain yardage after the catch and be a red zone challenge for opponents because he can run the ball with balance and catch the ball with strength. Nevertheless, he is a project who can be an outstanding tight end in the future and a player who could also be your third or emergency quarterback because Blake does have a strong arm and can throw the ball down the field.

CONCERNS
Blake is a tight end project. He still has to a lot to learn about blocking in space and in line. For his college team, he was used more as a stand-up pass catching tight end who seemed to be used more as a threat than as a first progression receiver. But of course his quarterback struggled to come off his hot receiver and hung on to the ball too long waiting for receivers to get open and not going through his progressions. Blake needs to learn how to run routes much better than he does now and gain confidence in his route running through taking more progressions. Heís only played the position at the college level for 1 year so truthfully, his potential to improve outweighs his play on the field right now.

BOTTOM LINE
Blakeís style and physical play from early years is what makes me feel that Blake is a diamond that just needs a lot of polishing to shine. The members all know by now that his talent grade is not a reflection of what round he could be selected in and I would guess that most teams will look at selecting Blake in the later rounds of this draft or maybe not at all. Everything will depend on how well he does in the East-West Shrine practices. If he does well, he might be asked to the Senior Bowl, but if he just does all right and shows no improvement from day-to-day in practice than who knows when Blake could be selected. Blake has the talent to play at the next level and Iím sure some teams might work him out at quarterback and come away thinking there is potential at that position also. For me, if he can learn the nuances of the tight end position, I think he can become a core player and impact player at that position for the team that selects him and thatís the position that I think he has to be ďall inĒ to play or I might pass on him. Iíd interview him and tell him my interest in drafting him is for him to become a great tight end and if he says he would still like to try to play quarterback, I would move on and let someone else do all the work and see where his talent level is after his first contract is up because this talent grade is biased on his potential as a tight end and not as a quarterback. For me the BellĖDozer belongs at the tight end position and I think his potential at that position is not only intriguing, but potentially impacting in a big time way. How could you not draft a kid with the nick name Bell-Dozer? Seriously!

Drew Boylhart
JAN/2015