Bell Attracts Crowd Of NFL Scouts To Workout
March 31, 2008
LAS VEGAS - Former UNLV linebacker Beau Bell, finally healthy after suffering a knee injury during Senior Bowl practices in January, worked out on campus Monday for approximately 40 scouts in preparation for next month's NFL Draft.
The 2007 Mountain West Conference Defensive Player of the Year attended the official NFL Combine in February but did not participate in some testing, including running the 40-yard dash, which meant there was increased interest in Bell's personal pro day at Rebel Park.
"I came in here knowing that they have seen me play and they know what I can do," Bell said. "I feel pretty good about how I did today and I appreciate everyone coming out. I really just wanted to get it over with. My knee feels really good right now. I will just be blessed to be able to continue playing football. That's what my dream was, to play in the National Football League."
A native of Tustin, Calif., Bell is ranked among the top linebacker prospects in the nation this year. In fact, the Sporting News Draft '08 guide, currently on newsstands, ranks Bell as the No. 1 ILB in this year's class. His 8.0 grade makes him a potential Pro Bowl player, according to the publication's own scale.
From Sporting News War Room Scouts: "Bell was highly productive at UNLV and has the best combination of production, size and speed of all the inside linebacker prospects. He plays with the intensity and passion NFL teams covet and has consistently shown the ability to make hard tackles."
Bell became the first player in MWC history to be named Defensive Player of the Week three times in one season after leading the league with 126 total tackles, five forced fumbles and four interceptions in 2007. He also led his team with 9.5 tackles for loss, ranked second with three QB sacks and third with three pass breakups. Majoring in university studies, he is expected to graduate after just four years at the end of the 2008 spring semester.
If Sporting News proves correct and Bell is selected in the first round on April 26, he would become the first first-round pick in UNLV history. Running back Ickey Woods was the closest to going in the first round when he was selected 31st overall (second round) by the Bengals in 1988. Former Rebel All-American Randall Cunningham was the first quarterback drafted in 1985 when he went 37th overall (second round).
Last year, former UNLV cornerback Eric Wright went 53rd overall (second round) to the Browns and went on to start for Cleveland most of the season.
Another Rebel defender from the 2007 team, end Jeremy Geathers, is also highly thought of by Sporting News. Despite leaving school one year early to enter his name in the Draft, he is ranked the No. 7 DE in the class and is slated to be drafted in the 3-7 rounds on April 27.
If Geathers is selected, it will mark the first time two Rebels have been drafted in the same year since linebackers Adam Seward (Panthers) and Ryan Claridge (Patriots) were both taken in 2005's fifth round.