2022 NFL Draft Scouting Report: WR David Bell, Purdue

2022 NFL Draft Scouting Report: WR David Bell, Purdue

Fantasy Football Rookie Analysis

2022 NFL Draft Scouting Report: WR David Bell, Purdue


An Indiana native, wide receiver David Bell stayed home and burst onto the scene with the Purdue Boilermakers, registering 86 receptions for 1,035 yards and eight total scores as a true freshman. He was Big Ten Freshman of the Year and a Freshman All-American honoree.

In 2020’s abbreviated season, the four-star recruit and high school basketball standout was selected to the first-team All-Big Ten squad with two more total scores than games played.

Height: 6-foot 7/8
Weight: 212 pounds
40 time: 4.65 seconds

A year later, Bell saved his best for last before declaring to enter the pros. His 93-1,286-6 line earned recognition as a first-team Associated Press All-American and the Big Ten Receiver of the Year.

Table: David Bell NCAA stats (2019-21)

Year School Class Gm Receiving Rushing
Rec Yds Avg TD Att Yds Avg TD
2019 Purdue FR 12 86 1,035 12.0 7 3 12 4.0 1
2020 Purdue SO 6 53 625 11.8 8
*2021 Purdue JR 11 93 1,286 13.8 6 3 39 13.0 0

*includes postseason/bowl games


  • Among the best route-running skills of any receiver coming out this year
  • Excellent body control, spatial awareness, and balance
  • Fluid in the open field and does a tremendous job of maximizing his yardage per catch
  • Unafraid of going over the middle in heavy traffic
  • Plus-release repertoire and displays a knack for lulling defenders to sleep with his route cadence
  • Late hands and demonstrates the ability to make highlight-reel catches
  • Dangerous in the screen game — can have plays manufactured for him out of the backfield and around the line of scrimmage

Also see: 2022 NFL Draft Central


  • Lacks speed to separate and probably won’t outrun too many defenders — a 4.65-second 40 at the 2022 NFL Scouting Combine was followed up with a more disappointing 4.68 time at his pro day
  • Despite making some spectacular hands catches, he tends to allow too many passes into the body
  • Less experience out of the slot than ideal — profiles best as a split end
  • Potentially low ceiling in the NFL — may need to haul in considerable volume to overcome physical limitations
  • Limited potential as a blocker

Fantasy football outlook

Bell surely has enough exciting film to suggest he has a chance to break through in fantasy, but system fit will be key. He will benefit the most from playing in a system that utilizes short- to intermediate-area passing with an increased degree of mesh routes to allow his agility to take over. He’s not going to be at his best in a vertical system, although there’s also increased potential from him in play-action-heavy systems.

Bell’s lack of straightline speed and just average burst indicate a likely third-day selection in the upcoming draft. Speculating on his immediate value does no one any favors, but the long-term prognostication is likely capped in the low-end WR2 neighborhood for PPR purposes.


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