ON THE CLOCK: Blake Bell

New tight end presents perfect high-reward, late-round pick for NFL teams

The 2015 NFL Draft is on the horizon. For a handful of Sooners, there’s a chance to have their name called during the three-day stretch starting on April 30.

There have been 33 players from Oklahoma drafted since 2009, and the Sooners have the fifth-highest percentage of starters – with more than one year as a starter – drafted into the NFL (38 percent) in that same time period.

There are some Sooners looking to follow in those footsteps in this year’s draft.

-------------- Tight end Blake Bell --------------

Nothing has changed exceptionally with Bell, who will be a long-term project for most NFL teams. Although, he’s getting more attention as the draft looms.

It seems like it’ll be one of two courses for Bell as a professional: A steal on the third day or a guy that doesn’t last more than two seasons, like most late-round selections. That’ll all depend on the situation that he’s dropped into on draft day (day one, two or three).

There’s an obvious trend of top tight ends not playing the position (or the sport) at first: Tony Gonzalez, Antonio Gates, Jimmy Graham and Julius Thomas. Bell could be the next in that line, although it’s not through the same basketball-style pedigree as the others.

Now Trending: ⇈ Climbing a bit on most draft boards, it seems as though a few teams are looking into the long-term prospects of Bell. On Day 3, teams are looking for a low-risk, high-reward kind of player. Bell provides that to a team that will wait for him to grow.

Closest NFL player comparison: Owen Daniels, Denver Broncos - Daniels was a college quarterback before transferring his skills to tight end while at Wisconsin, albeit much earlier than Bell. The two have similar athleticism, and both have excellent understanding of the game.

Sooners’ Illustrated’s final, fun yet oddly exact NFL Draft prediction: Fifth Round - 154th overall to the New Orleans Saints.

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