Coincidentally, I used this morning’s daily links post as a place to discuss this exact same topic so that’s fun. But over at NFL.com, NFL analyst Chad Reuter just dropped a piece where he selected the most-ideal first two picks for each team.
When it came to the Chargers, Reuter has them landing one of the draft’s top offensive tackle prospects in Trevor Penning. As you all know, Penning has been paired with the Chargers so many times he might as well be on the team already. We’ve also discussed Penning quite a few times up to this point so we’re not going to dive too deep into that pick.
Simply put, he’s an excellent fit in regards to position, athletic ability, and the temperament he plays with when he’s on the field. At 6’6 and 320 pounds, he’d immediately be one of the biggest players on the team and only trail Matt Feiler as the largest offensive lineman on the team.
But what about the second player that Reuter picked for the Chargers?
Well that guy is none other than Purdue wide receiver David Bell.
Before I give my thoughts, here’s what Reuter had to say about his selections:
“The Chargers traded their second-round pick, along with a sixth-round pick next year, to Chicago for edge Khalil Mack. The right side of their offensive line struggled in 2021, so picking up a strong, brutish lineman like Penning seems logical. Bell adds to an already strong receivers group, bringing toughness and reliability rather than elite athleticism — much like five-time Pro Bowler Keenan Allen, who was selected in the third round (76th overall) by the Chargers in 2013.”
As Reuter mentions, Bell is not anything different from what the Chargers already have in the receiver room. Bell doesn’t have crazy straight-line speed and he isn’t going to win simply by running past anyone, but he’s got just enough nuance and football IQ to take advantage of defender who allow too many lapses in judgement.
As an Iowa alumni, I watched this guy tear up one of the best secondaries in college football for three-straight seasons. It was a miraculous day when he finally was forced to leave the Boilermakers. The 6’2, 205-pound Bell ran a very middling 4.65 in the forty, so he most certainly isn’t going too much higher than the third round. However, for teams who will bank on his film and his elite production, they may be able to steal one of the most-underrated route runners in this class. And where his route-running fails, he’s also one of the best at playing through contact. He understands leverage and knows how to contort his body to absorb impact in order to stay upright and churn out yards after contact.
Since Purdue wide receiver David Bell said he models his game after #Bears WR Allen Robinson, I continue to see the similarities in their play.— Nicholas Moreano (@NicholasMoreano) February 23, 2022
This catch vs. Notre Dame showcases plenty of Bell's best traits: route running, release, hands, ball skills and big-play ability. pic.twitter.com/Ge5hbG92O2
Let me know what you all think about these two picks in the comments below. I’d be “fine” with Bell, but I’m not so sure that’s the best place to take a receiver with his skillset if you’re the Chargers. But that’s just me.