Chicago Bears: Quinton Bell could be most intriguing prospect in NFL Draft

Chicago Bears (Photo by Tim Warner/Getty Images)
Chicago Bears (Photo by Tim Warner/Getty Images) /

If the Chicago Bears are looking for an OLB in the 2019 NFL Draft, this sleeper could be the answer.

In the 2016 NFL Draft, the Chicago Bears held the No. 11 overall pick. However, they pulled off a deal with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers to move up to the No. 9 overall pick, while sending the No. 11 and a fourth-round pick to the Bucs.

Ryan Pace made the move because he coveted Leonard Floyd, an outside linebacker out of the University of Georgia. A couple of reasons he was so enamored with Floyd were his physical attributes and athleticism.

Floyd measured 6-foot-6 at the combine and checked in at 244 pounds. Even at that size, he showed an incredible amount of athleticism. His long, fluid frame allowed him to excel as a speed rusher and even drop in coverage. Those traits and the potential of what that unmolded clay could become were enough for the Bears to make the move.

Fast forward to 2019 and Floyd has not lived up to expectations, despite having his most successful season last year. As such, the team will likely be looking to continue to add depth to the position. Even though they re-signed Aaron Lynch, the deal is only for one year.

Moreover, the front office will need to decide whether to exercise Floyd’s fifth-year option. Otherwise, this will be his final year with the team. All the more reason why adding to the position this year makes a lot of sense.

If they do, one option could be outside linebacker Quinton Bell out of Prairie View A&M. Bell, who boasts elite athleticism, could end up being the player the team had hoped Floyd would be when they drafted him.

Draft Profile

As mentioned above, Bell has elite athletic abilities, rarely seen from someone who plays his position. Part of the reason for that was how involved he was in athletic activities growing up. As a kid, he immersed himself in a variety of sports like track, baseball, football, motocross, and snowboarding, as discussed on the Talking w/TD: Sleeper Edition podcast, hosted by Turron Davenport of ESPN. Doing so, as opposed to limiting himself to one or two sports, allowed him to develop into a total athlete.

Another contributing factor is the fact that, until this past season, Bell was a wide receiver. However, just before the 2018 season, he made the switch to the defensive side of the ball and took his athletic gifts with him.

As you can see above, he put up insane numbers at his Pro Day, including a 4.38, 40-yard dash, 41.5 inch vertical, a 7.09 three-cone drill, and a 4.31 pro agility drill. Keep in mind, these numbers are coming from a 6-foot-4, 241-pound frame.

When evaluating Bell, one must also keep in mind that he has only been playing the position for one year and is still very much a work in progress. However, he has all the physical tools to be an outstanding edge rusher. In fact, he already is a great speed rusher and has been steadily improving his repertoire of moves throughout the season.

Bell is represented by United Sports Group (USG) of Houston, Texas, who also represents Montez Sweat, one of the top rated edge rushers in this Draft. No doubt, he is working toward that benchmark set by his brethren. Once he learns the position, watch out.

Although he played defensive end last season, he projects best as an outside linebacker at the next level where his strengths can be best utilized.

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With the Bears, he could work in next season as a situational pass rusher and continue to develop his game under the tutelage of Chuck Pagano and staff. Having the opportunity to mold an extremely talented, but still raw player like Bell is what coaches live for. It would be exciting to see what Bell could become after a year of working with this staff, and learning from guys like Floyd and Khalil Mack. The Bears might be thinking the same thing.