The one thing most New Orleans Saints fans everywhere wanted was for the team to not trade away any of their six picks. In fact, it's safe to say that most fans would consider a trade down to be the ideal occurrence. Well, the Saints did the opposite and moved up to grab a safety from Ohio State, Vonn Bell. Let's get to know Mr. Bell, shall we?
Fun Fact - The New Orleans Saints have selected college teammates with consecutive picks 6 times in team history, with 2003 being the highest with a 1st and 2nd rounder from the same school!
7/8 Round Draft - 2016 (Ohio St.), 2009 (Wake Forest), & 2003 (Georgia)
12/17 Round Draft - 1993 (Nebraska), 1988 (San Diego St.), & 1969 (USC)
Tale of the Tape: 5'11, 199 pounds
Here are his Strengths:
(NFL.com) - Sheriff mentality looking to corral receivers on his side of the field. Has man cover talent. Instincts and reaction time are big assets. Trusts his eyes and fires downhill as soon as he reads throw. Capacity to meet ball at the catch-point more than most cover safeties.Plays with excellent feel for his responsibilities in space. Sifts through route combinations and always gets to his guy. Rarely out of position.
(CBSSports.com) - Good-sized athlete to match up well with receivers. Coordinated athlete with smooth lower-body quickness and hip action to transition with little wasted movement. Drive burst and pursuit speed to close well. Not distracted by eye candy in the backfield, seeing things quickly with the reactive movements to plant, gather and go. Keeps his weight on the balls of his feet in coverage to stay within arm's reach of the receiver.He played mostly man coverage the last two years and held his own on an island, showing athleticism, timing and savvy that translates well to the next level.
Here are his Weaknesses:
(NFL.com) - Play speed looked very average on tape. Time-consuming sprint to boundary from single-high coverage to help over the top.Against the run, allows running backs to get on top of him and deliver the first blow. Drag down tackler without much thud.
(CBSSports.com) - Inconsistent breaking down in space with a bad habit of waiting on the ball-carrier and playing on his heels, causing him to be run over at the contact point. Anticipates well on some snaps, but then late to recognize the play design on others. Can get turned around in coverage and struggles to locate or make plays on the ball once his back is turned to the line of scrimmage. Not a play-maker after the interception, averaging 5.4 yards per return. Left knee sprain kept him out of 2014 spring practice, which required surgery to repair his MCL.
Current NFL Comparison: Kurt Coleman, S, Carolina Panthers and Tashaun Gipson, S, Jacksonville Jaguars
Saints Roster at Safety (according to NewOrleansSaints.com):
Jairus Byrd, Kenny Vaccaro, Jamarca Sanford, & Alden Darby
The Saints lost two quality, yet oft-injured safeties this off-season in Rafael Bush and Vinnie Sunseri. They didn't waste any time in replacing them by trading up to draft Bell. With three starter-level players ahead of him on the team, Bell should have enough time to learn defensive coordinator Dennis Allen's system and be ready to start in 2017. Could this be one of the pieces to solve the defensive puzzle in the Big Easy?
Saints 2016 NFL Draft Picks
|1||12||12||Sheldon Rankins, DT, Louisville|
|2||16||47||Michael Thomas, WR, Ohio St.|
|2||30||61||Vonn Bell, S, Ohio St.|
Saints Team Needs
- Defensive End
Wide Receiver Defensive Back
Saints Draft Resources
- Saints NFL Draft Headquarters
- CSC Community Big Board
- Saints Mock Draft Database
- CSC Community Mock Draft
NFL Draft Schedule
Saturday, April 30 - 11 a.m. CT (Rounds 4-6 - 5 Minutes Per Pick, Round 7 - 4 Minutes Per Pick)
NFL Network and ESPN/ESPN2 will televise the draft.
Live Draft Tracker