According to Mike Griffith of MLive.com, “Bell is expected to submit paperwork through Michigan State to the NFL College Advisory Committee, which will in turn give him a report indicated where he can expect to be drafted,”
Spartans fans are hoping that Bell will stay, but that seems like a long-shot at this point after a highly productive junior season.
The junior running back, however, is not likely to be a first round pick because of concerns of his top-end speed at 242 pounds and the fact that he has just average vision.
However, the biggest concern that should convince Bell to ultimately declare for the draft is his workload.
Bell carried the football an astonishing 350 times in 12 games and had six games where he had 32 or more carries, including 44 in a season-opening win over Boise State.
His durability and the tread on his tires will be a major concern for NFL teams that are in need of a running back, but the long-term ramifications of his 639 carries in college will have many shy to draft him despite his production at Michigan State.
After splitting carries with Edwin Baker the first two years on campus, Bell emerged as one of the best running backs in the nation and finished with 1648 yards and 11 touchdowns–giving him 32 on the ground for his career—proving that he is one of the most powerful backs in college football.
Bell has seven games with more than 100 yards and three with 200 or more yards, including a career-high 266 in the season finale at Minnesota.
He is going to be typecast as a short-yardage or goal line back entering the league, but he can do more than that and I think the best situation for him will be going to a team that has a smaller change-of-pace running back to complement Bell’s skill-set.
Michigan State plays TCU in the Buffalo Wild Wings Bowl on December 29 in what very well could be Bell’s last time in a Spartan’s uniform.
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Patrick is a diehard Chicago sports and an avid college football fan, and the host of “The Wake-up Call,” a weekly sports show on Sportstownchicago.com airing live on Wednesday mornings from 8-10. View his show’s website here.