The Bears Made Travis Bell the First Player to Ever Be Drafted Out of Kennesaw State
Late-round NFL Draft prospect nuggets are among my favorite things to pop up when we get to the final phases of the weekend.
And I particularly love it when a prospect makes history.
By drafting Kennesaw State defensive tackle Travis Bell, the Chicago Bears effectively did both in one fell swoop.
That’s because drafting Bell made him the first-ever Kennesaw State player to ever be drafted by an NFL team:
I doubt the Bears are making picks solely for historical purposes. It is interesting to learn Bell is the first Kennesaw State player to be taken in the NFL Draft. Frankly, it speaks to the program building at KSU because the university didn’t start planning for a team until 2007, didn’t start building it until 2009, and didn’t field a team until 2015. Eight years later, they’ve got a player going in the seventh round of the NFL Draft.
Pretty neat, eh?
As for Bell, he interests me as a prospect because he adds more beef to the defensive line.
Here is what NFL Draft analyst Lance Zierlein had about Bell in his pre-draft writeup:
Bell is an interior defender with decent lateral quickness and power at the point of attack. He lacks the overall mass and anchor to eat up blocks inside, though. He has enough foot quickness and hand usage to work his way around blockers but might find his success rate plummet against NFL-caliber competition. Bell has traits to get a look as a one-gapping, even-front nose tackle but might need to fight for a spot as an undrafted free agent.
Zierlein was projecting Bell to be a priority free agent in the UDFA market. But rather than risk losing him to another team in a bidding war, Chicago appears to have jumped the market to get its guy. I’ve seen teams use seventh-round picks in less-productive ways. Heck, I’ve seen Bears teams do worse. So I’m willing to give another new guy a shot to make a strong impression this summer at training camp.
Even after drafting bell, this defensive line doesn’t have the butt-kicking game-changer in the middle that we’d like to see. But it looks like the Bears are creating a competitive position group. And maybe from it all, they’ll find a rotation of defenders that can keep this team from repeating as one of the NFL’s worst defenses.