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David Bell
NFL Draft

David Bell Should Be A Bears Target In 2022 NFL Draft

  • Bryan Perez
  • February 24, 2022
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Purdue wide receiver David Bell is rarely if ever mentioned whenever there’s a discussion about the top wideouts available in the 2022 NFL Draft. Instead, prospects like Jameson Williams (Alabama), Chris Olave (Ohio State), Drake London (USC), Treylon Burks (Arkansas), and Garrett Wilson (Ohio State) are mocked in the first round and are at the top of most NFL draft analysts’ position rankings, and that may be a very, very good thing for the Chicago Bears. Bell (6-foot-2, 205 pounds) has the size, underrated athleticism, and ball skills the Bears need in their passing game. In the latest 2022 NFL mock draft from The Draft Network’s Damian Parsons, Chicago lands Bell at No. 39 overall. The good news for the Bears is that the 2022 NFL Draft is a very deep one. While it may not have an elite, can’t-miss first-overall pick in its ranks, the strength of this year’s draft lies in its depth. There should be several players available at No. 39 overall who in a traditional draft year, may have snuck into the first round. Bell is one of those guys, and there’s a chance that by the time April rolls around, he’s moved into the top-32 selections. Targeting a wide receiver with their first pick will allow the Bears to focus their free-agent resources on the offensive line. I recently suggested that general manager Ryan Poles may want to give some thought to signing New Orleans Saints left tackle Terron Armstead, who’s widely considered one of the best free agents available in this year’s class. A signing like that is a big win by itself. Combine an Armstead acquisition with a second-round pick like Bell, and you’re cooking with gas. Bell had a career-high 96 catches for 1,286 yards and six touchdowns in 2022 and has been compared, stylistically, to Allen Robinson, whose exit from Chicago is expected soon after free agency kicks off in March. Robinson, when healthy and playing at the top of his game, was the most important offensive weapon for the Bears over the last few seasons. His relationship with Chicago’s top decision-makers, namely Ryan Pace and Matt Nagy, appeared to sour after negotiations on a long-term deal stalled (or, perhaps never occurred) last year and now has the Bears prepping for life after Robinson. It won’t be easy to replace a guy who prior to last season’s bizarre regression totaled 305 targets between the 2019 and 2020 seasons. It certainly wouldn’t be fair to expect a rookie like Bell to be that replacement, but over time, he certainly has the upside to develop into the perfect complement to Darnell Mooney as a big-bodied outside target.

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Bryan Perez