5-10, 212, 4.42
Oklahoma State University
Projected Draft Position: 2nd Round
As the NFL Draft draws ever closer, speculation continues to surround the Dallas Cowboys. Will they draft a running back in the first round? Will they draft an offensive lineman in the first round?
Ask one person and they'll tell you one thing, ask another, and they'll tell you something else.
Regardless, it seems like a safe bet to assume that the Cowboys will likely look at an offensive lineman and a running back with their first three selections.
One of the least publicized running backs that will likely be on the board after the first round is over is Oklahoma State's Tatum Bell.
Bell rushed 213 times for 1,286 yards and 16 touchdowns last season for the Cowboys. As a junior, he rushed for 1,096 yards on 175 attempts and 11 more scores.
|Bell rushed 213 times for 1,286 yards and 16 touchdowns last season for the Cowboys. As a junior, he rushed for 1,096 yards on 175 attempts and 11 more scores.|
While the scouting report on Bell sounds good, he didn't have the best performance at the NFL Combine two months ago.
After lifting well on the bench and turning in a solid 40-time, he looked like a straight-line runner during the drills. He struggled with his footwork, and was unable to quickly cut it back and after running into the tackling dummy had to slow down before trying to cut.
He did, however rebound to post the best 40 time of any running back, when he ran a 4.37 on his first attempt.
That time, combined with his reputation as an outstanding athlete, has propelled Bell to the top of the board for many teams in search of a quality running back this offseason.
"He's a hard working, solid athlete, and he has the skills which translate well to the next level," adds Pauline. "He's also known as a player that does the extras to become better on the football field."
The Cowboys are familiar with Bell, and he should be available in the second round of the draft later this month, he'll be given a hard look.
TheInsiders.com currently lists Bell as the 6th best running back in the draft, right behind Notre Dame running back Julius Jones.
Interestingly enough, Jones and Bell are two prospects that have been evaluated extensively by Cowboys scouts this offseason, with the slight edge reportedly going to Jones.
Whether it's Jones or Bell, or Steven Jackson or Michael Turner, it seems like a safe bet that the Cowboys will draft one of these running backs to help spark the offense this year.
Who exactly it ends up being....well that's a different story.