More importantly, the decision to declare for the draft couldn’t come at a better time for his body’s sake. Bell led the nation in carries this year, toting the ball for the Spartans 382 times. His 1,793 yards was third best in the FBS this season and he had four games over 188 yards in 2012.
Bell’s NFL stock will likely not be higher than it is right now and that probably played a big role in his decision to leave school a year early, even though he was only one semester away from graduating. He’ll eventually come back to finish his degree but leaving now is in his best interest.
He’s got the size and strength to hold up to NFL defenders at 6-foot-2, 240 pounds and taking another entire season of getting hit at the college level isn’t worth it. His speed is one question mark and it’s the one thing he’ll need to improve before the NFL combine.
Bell received feedback from the NFL College Advisory Committee and they project him to be drafted anywhere between the late second round to the middle of the third round.
With his decision to declare for the draft, where does that leave Michigan State next season? The Spartans will likely struggle without Bell’s services. Besides tight end Dion Sims, who also declared for the NFL draft a year early, Bell was practically their only offensive weapon. The Spartans will have to rely on their defense if they want to match the success they had this season because their offense will be severely lacking a punch.
Bell will be a solid addition to any NFL team and he will be a quality short-down, goal-line running back.