Saints select Vonn Bell in the second round after trading back into the second round by sending their third and fourth 2016 NFL draft picks to the New England Patriots. Bell is a read-and-react free safety with top ball skills when the action is in front of him. He has smooth lower-body quickness and wastes little motion as his transitions his hips toward his target. Bell will shadow receivers and this talent has made him attractive to many teams. He can zero in on the action and his ability to stay on the balls of his feet is a plus as he closes in. Bell is known for his toughness and will take on a player to make the tackle. He had some great interceptions in college. The Saints coaches will want to work with him on NFL nuances and as well as tackling more in the mid thigh area. He waits for the runner to get to him before he makes the tackle but has been a sure tackler in college (only nine missed tackles in 2015) but mainly aimed for the legs rather than the body.
Expect Vonn Bell to be used more in pass coverage than run stopping.
ProFootball Focus superlatives on Vonn Bell’s play
Understands angles and works to the right spot to make a play on the ball or cut off the route rather than just heading for the receiver. Would routinely scare quarterbacks away from making a pass into his coverage because of the angle he was coming at and closing the window Comes up pretty quickly in a straight line on receiver screens and the run game. Is all about closing off space and minimizing the success of the play whatever the situation Made a spectacular grab on a deflected pass that most receivers couldn’t manage, so has some ball skills.
AFC Scout Comments
“He’s not special, but he’s solid. I needed to go see him in person because he looked so small on tape and he looks the same in person. You can’t play him around the line of scrimmage, but he’s got instincts in coverage.”