INDIANAPOLIS– Nebraska wide receiver Kenny Bell is a guy that is flying under the radar. He is one of the more complete receivers in this draft class. He has the right mindset and plays the game the right way. Bell loves football. His father played in the NFL and that is where he got his love for the game.
Coming into the season, Bell had some things that he wanted to improve upon, specifically getting better with his footwork and releases against press coverage. Football is a game that requires great discipline. With that comes consistency which is one of the traits that Bell said describes his game. “I think the biggest thing that I bring to the table as a wide receiver is consistency and that I am reliable. You can rely on me to make big plays.” Bell continued; “I consistently catch the ball, do my assignment. I am consistently reliable on and off the field. In this day and age, it’s important for guys to be just as reliable on the field as they are off of it.”
Bell’s father Ken played for the Denver Broncos from 1986 -1989. He was a punt returner. Of course he has plenty of advice for his son as he goes through this process. Kenny said that the advice was similar to what he’s heard from others. “A lot of people say the same thing. He told me that it will be a grind. These first few days here are tough days. They wake you up early, you go to sleep late. For the most part, it’s just head to the ground and you keep working away.”
The grind is not something that bogs Bell down. He has embraced the process and refers to it as simply “living this dream.” He recognizes that there aren’t a lot of guys that get to be at the Combine. In his words, “getting up early and going to bed late is nothing in the grand scheme of things.”
The scouts are telling him that his strength is his speed which he feels is the best way that he can win against defensive backs. The way he runs routes and makes plays on the ball stands out to scouts also.
During the off season at Nebraska, Bell worked as a bartender to make some money to pay a few bills. Bell said that he was someone that brings energy and fire to a team because he is people person and enjoys human interactions. Bartending definitely presented the opportunity to encounter a great deal of person to person experiences.
The question of whether or not a prospect is ready for the NFL always comes up. Bell answered the question very wisely. “It’s hard to sit here as just a prospect and say that I am ready to go play in the NFL. I do know that everything up to this point has prepared me for this and it’s just up to me to go and prove that I am ready.”
He took the question and turned it into an opportunity to talk about what he feels makes him different. “My intelligence is what separates me from other players. Not that I think other players lack intelligence but my on the field IQ and field vision is something that I think is really good. “
Like any player, there are weaknesses that are visible when watching film. Bell admits that he would like to be more physical within his routes. It’s not to say that he isn’t a physical player. Bell said that he isn’t naïve enough to think that blocking a corner is the same kind of physicality that is required at the top of his routes but he will refer people to his blocking to show that he can be a physical player.
To Bell, an overall talented and dedicated receiver shows how he is in the blocking game. Making blocks down the field to spring a long run for the running back is just as important as making a catch down the field. Bell recognizes that and celebrates the success of his teammates. “I take pride in the fact that Ameer Abdullah had big runs because of me making blocks down the field. Watch the film and you’ll see me celebrating runs just like I celebrate a big reception.”
Bell is a guy that really loves playing football. He said that he would play anywhere whether it be in San Diego where it’s sunny or in Detroit or Buffalo where it’s cold and snowing. I am from Colorado so I can handle the cold weather. Wherever he ends up, rest assured that he will be an asset.
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Pics by @visionmaj
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