Patriots Take Take A Closer Look At Top 5 LB

The Patriots were among the group of NFL teams to take a look at this highly sought after linebacker. Seven clubs have already lined up personal workouts with this self-described "maniac".

UNLV linebacker Beau Bell had to skip running and agility drills at the NFL Combine in Indianapolis in February because he was still bothered by a bruised knee suffered at Senior Bowl workouts six weeks earlier. About 40 scouts representing all 32 NFL teams showed up at Rebel Park on Monday to finally get a forty time for the 2007 Mountain West Conference defensive player of the year.

Things didn't go quite as well as the UNLV linebacker had hoped in that regard, however. Bell ran the forty twice in the 4.9 range. He had hoped to run closer to the 4.7.

However, Bell's agent, Joe Flanagan, owner and CEO of btisports advisors, said he was happy with his clients performance, especially in the short shuttle (mid 4.4's) and three-cone drills (low 7.0's).

"He had good times on the agility and change of direction drills which is what people like Mike Mayock of the NFL Network had criticized him for," Flanagan said. "I just think he's not built to be a sprinter. He's a football player. … When you watch him on film, he's a maniac."

Flanagan said Bell has lined up individual workouts for seven teams including the Jets, Cowboys, Saints, Vikings and Browns. He said he believes Bell will go somewhere between the second and fourth rounds on April 26-27.

"I'm pretty happy,' Bell, who is rated the No. 1 inside linebacker by The Sporting News Draft guide, said. "I thought I could have done a couple things better than I did but it is what it is. I've just got to keep learning and when I take my visits, let them know what kind of guy I am. They know what kind of football player I am. I just have to let them know what kind of person I am."

Bell admitted to be nervous before running perhaps the most important drills of his life.

"Yes, real nervous," Bell said. "But if you're not nervous, then there's something wrong with you."

Bell did 25 reps of 225 pounds in Indianapolis and didn't lift again on Monday. He recorded a 28½ inch vertical jump and had a 9-foot-1 ½ inch standing broad jump. Perhaps his most impressive performance came in a position drill where he was asked to drop back into coverage, flip his hips and then go out and catch a pass. Twice Bell made impressive grabs of difficult passes that were thrown behind him and a third time he dove to snatch an errant throw.

"Whenever the ball is in my vicinity I have to go and get it," Bell said.

Bell suffered a bruised tibia on the second day of Senior Bowl practices that put his NFL Combine training on hold and forced him to hold the special workout.

"I'd say my knee is 100 percent," Bell said.

Flanagan, however, said Bell is behind most players in preparing for the draft because of the injury.

"He's been re-habbing the knee since the Senior Bowl," Flanagan said. "Most everybody else has been training instead. … His knee is still not even 100 percent yet."

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