A Dallas Cowboys Round 2 Target: Purdue WR David Bell

David Bell, Purdue Boilermakers (David Butler II-USA TODAY Sports)
David Bell, Purdue Boilermakers (David Butler II-USA TODAY Sports) /

The hits just keep on coming for the Dallas Cowboys in their receiver group. Amari Cooper was traded away to Cleveland. Cedrick Wilson got himself handsomely paid by the Dolphins. And most recently, Malik Turner, who showed flashes of brilliance last year, signed with the 49ers.

So, that leaves just Michael Gallup and CeeDee Lamb returning as large contributors, and Gallup may not be ready for Week 1. There are a handful of others that bounced between the active roster and practice squad along, and the Cowboys recently signed ex-Steelers WR James Washington, but the need at receiver appears to be growing.

That said, I don’t think the Cowboys should (nor do I want them to) take a receiver in Round 1. I loved the Lamb pick when it happened, but let me explain why I grow more hesitant about the idea of a receiver in round one. I think that receivers will go the way of the modern-day running back in the NFL. What do I mean?

With the emergence of the passing game in all levels of football, expect to see more high school athletes become receivers, therefore more receivers produced in college, and ultimately, a greater talent pool for NFL teams. There will still be the select few worth the mega deals, just like a few running backs, but the greater majority of receivers will be able to come from relatively young and cheap talent.

Round 1 picks for teams need to be cornerstone picks such as quarterbacks, offensive linemen, and defensive linemen. Build the infrastructure with high picks and expensive contracts and add the flashy pieces on the outside for the lower rounds. That is how success is maintained.

So, let’s get into it. Let’s meet a Round 2 target who can fill this void in the receiver room for multiple reasons.

A Round 2 wide receiver target the Dallas Cowboys should be interested in: Purdue’s David Bell

David Bell, Cowboys
David Bell, Purdue Boilermakers /

David Bell, WR, Purdue

Height: 6’2″

Weight: 205 lbs.

40-Yard Dash: 4.65

NCAA Career Stats: 232 catches, 2,946 yards, 21 TDs in three seasons (averaged 8 rec & 102 per game throughout collegiate career)

To start, let’s talk about the receivers the Cowboys do have. Lamb is an elusive, yards after the catch, quick-twitch specialist. Get him the ball and let the magic happen. Gallup is a deep ball, go-up-and-get-it type of guy. Fades, deep shots, and 50/50 balls, are Gallup’s thing.

David Bell is something the Cowboys don’t have. While only 6-2 and 205 pounds, Bell plays much bigger and stronger than his attributes state. Bell is closer to a true, old-school, big-bodied receiver that would rather play bully ball with smaller corners. Bell can make plays after the catch, but he specializes in getting the better position and boxing out smaller defenders to reel in passes. Since he began his collegiate career, he has only gotten better at the tightly contested catches where it comes down to strength.

Top-end speed to take the top off of the defense isn’t one of Bell’s strengths, but with Lamb and Gallup possessing the shot play and deep ball attributes, his skillset would plug in nicely. Dak Prescott could find some solace with a receiver comfortable running across the middle and providing that consistent target in the intermediate passing game.

Bell is currently hovering in the 10-15 range for best receivers entering the 2022 NFL Draft. I would be willing to promise that you see at least five, and up to seven, receivers go off the board in the first round. Bell should reach the Cowboys at pick 56 in Round 2.

The video below shows Bell’s strength encapsulated into one clip. Fearlessness to go get the ball in the middle of the field, strong hands to secure the catch, and uses his body to win against defenders.

With wide receiver quickly becoming a glaring need for the Cowboys, Bell plugs would be a great addition in Round 2 that still allows Dallas to prioritize OL in Round 1. With a skill set that doesn’t rely solely on just being faster or bigger than anyone else, he has had to learn the nuances of the position, making him a great value pick that can come in and contribute right away.

Like I said earlier, this allows the Cowboys to get a cornerstone piece in Round 1. For what it’s worth, I would go with the best lineman available, regardless of what side of the ball it is, in an effort to build out the trenches.

I like Bell’s skillset over a handful of other receivers floating in the second and third-round range. Hopefully, the Cowboys do too, and give Prescott a nice, steady target.

Next. Cowboys Prospect Spotlight: Chris Olave. dark