It was no secret entering the NFL Draft that the Oakland Raiders biggest need was accumulating pass rushers. With that being said, they grabbed three of them during the draft. But, what kind of productivity can Quinton Bell bring to the Raiders?
After the Oakland Raiders had already added two edge rushers (Clelin Ferrell and Maxx Crosby) before entering the seventh-round, they had many options available for their final pick of the draft. Despite getting some help off the edge early, they added a third one to the group by drafting Quinton Bell out of Prairie View A&M with the 230 overall pick.
Bell certainly is what you call a “project in the making”. He doesn’t have much experience rushing the passer, as he’s a converted wide receiver. He attended a small school, which doesn’t resonate on many teams radars. At Prairie View A&M he finished his 2018 season with 7.5 sacks, 10 tackles for loss, and 3 quarterback hurries.
His numbers provide decent production, but nothing to write home about. The thing that makes him such an intriguing prospect isn’t his statistics, but it’s his measurables and how he projects in the near future.
Bell is a freak of nature in the weight room, and tested extraordinary well at his pro-day.
It’s certain that Bell is a freak athlete, now the transformation is going to be how the Raiders coaching staff can guide him into being a productive edge rusher in the NFL. According to the Raiders updated roster, Bell has bulked up and is now listed at 253 pounds. That very well could be a positive for the Raiders, because they ran into some issues last season with Arden Key, when he couldn’t get any push off of the line due to his smaller frame and weight.
It was Bell’s 40-yard dash that kept him on the Raiders radar with his 4.38 official time. If Bell would have been invited to the yearly NFL combine he would have recorded the fastest 40-yard dash among all edge rushers, putting him just ahead of Montez Sweat’s 4.41.
Ultimately the Raiders are getting a prospect with raw ability, who’s going to need time developing. Bell will probably only see limited action this season, being used in passing situations primarily.
If the Raiders want to hang onto him, but don’t have the room on the final 53-man roster they might have to be careful storing him on the practice squad. By doing so, other teams might take notice and look to scoop him up of the Raiders practice squad if he shows enough flash in the mean time.
This might make it apparent, that the Raiders have to make room on the roster for Bell if they want to keep him around. I’d look for Bell to eventually break camp on the final roster and rotate off the edge in his rookie season.