The Cleveland Browns can always use help on defense and the team is reportedly eyeing Ohio State safety Vonn Bell.
The Cleveland Browns are reportedly showing interest in Ohio State safety Vonn Bell, according to NFL Network’s Rand Getlin.
Bell is projected to be a second-round selection in the 2016 NFL Draft and could fill a need for a Browns secondary that lost former Pro Bowler Tashaun Gipson and still includes and aging and increasingly ineffective Donte Whitner on the depth chart.
The 5-foot-11, 199-pound safety was a nickel back for the Buckeyes as a true freshman before starting 14 games in 2014, ending the season with 92 tackles, six interceptions and six passed defensed. During his final year in Columbus in 2015 he earned second team All-Big Ten honors from the coaches and first team honors from the media. He was also named a first team All-American.
In addition, CBS Sports points out that Bell “held his own on an island, showing athleticism, timing and savvy that translates well to the next level,” and compared him, ironically enough, to Gipson.
According to his draft profile at NFL.com:
"Though lacking in desired size and physicality, Bell has the ability to match up in space and is at his best when keeping the action in front of him where he combines his vision, reactive quickness and ball skills to go make plays on the ball. Bell lacks size and isn’t an aggressive tackler so he needs to prove he can run so that he locks in his draft positioning as one of the top free safeties in this draft."
Bell’s lack of commitment against the run has raised questions and was a topic that Bell addressed during last month’s NFL Scouting Combine.
More from Dawg Pound Daily
- How the Browns could maximize Nick Chubb in 2023
- Can Deshaun Watson get to Patrick Mahomes level for Cleveland Browns?
- 3 Cleveland Browns who should see an expanded role in 2023 and 1 who should not
- Is Marcus Davenport on the Browns radar in 2023?
- 5 Free agents from Super Bowl LVII Cleveland Browns should target
“I saw on film while sitting down with scouts, they were tearing me up a little bit,” Bell said, according to cleveland.com. “But it’s not hard to fix. I’ve got to run to the ball a little harder.”
Adding a player who struggles against the run to a defense that has been near the bottom of the league in run defense may be a dicey idea, but Bell’s ability as a pass defender may be enough for teams to convince themselves they can live with the occasional missed tackle.
What Bell may lack in run-stopping ability he more than makes up for in confidence.
“I’m the full package. You’ll get a playmaker,” he said at the combine, according to The Columbus Dispatch. “You’ll get a guy who can tackle in the open field. You’ll get a guy who’ll bring the whole team together. You’ll get a leader and another coach on the field.”