#36, Kahlil Bell, RB
(5106, 212, 4.56-4.78) UCLA
Notes: Born 12/10/86, in Santa Rosa, Calif. Parents are Michael and Elisabeth Bell. Has two brothers, Roechard and Darius, and three sisters, Danielle, Nerisa and Legalo. Lettered as a running back and defensive back at Marin (CA) Catholic High School, where he played for coach Ken Peralta. Had over 6,000 yards total offense for his prep career. Set school records for most rushing yards in a season, most touchdowns in a season, most carries in a season and highest average per carry. Led Bay Area in rushing with 2,292 yards and 31 touchdowns; made 70 tackles and 5 interceptions as a safety and also returned punts as a senior. Also lettered in basketball and track (triple jump) in high school. Hobbies include basketball, video games and dancing.
College: Recruited and coached at UCLA by Vikings' running backs coach Eric Bienemy as a freshman. Played in 10 games as the primary kickoff returner and third-team running back as a true freshman in 2005; rushed 52-310-3 (6.0 avg.) and 11-175 (15.9 avg.) on kickoff returns. Played in 7 games in 2006; rushed 60-239-2 (4.0 avg.), caught 6-38 (6.3 avg.) and 2-16 (8.0 avg.) on returns with a sprained left ankle sidelining him for five games. Was suspended for the Bruins' final two games for violation of team rules (reportedly a confrontation with teammate Chris Markey). Bulked up heading into the 2007 season, started 5-of-8 games before tearing his right ACL; rushed 142-795-5 (5.6 avg.) and caught 13-93 (7.2 avg.). Returned in 2008 to start 9-of-10 games played; rushed 141-397-7 (2.8 avg.) and caught 6-65-1 (6.5 avg.). Did not start one game as punishment for being late to a team meeting and missed two other games with a sprained ankle. Good student in the classroom, making the Director's Honor Roll in Fall 2005, Fall 2006, Winter 2007 and Winter 2008. History major.
Pre-Draft: Recorded 1.56 10-yard dash, 2.71 20-yard dash, 4.74-4.78 40-yard dash, 34 ½-inch vertical jump, 9'6" broad jump, 4.20 20-yard shuttle, 6.87 three-cone drill and did 15 reps at 225 pounds.
Pro: Signed with the Vikings as an undrafted free agent following the 2009 NFL Draft. Once again Bienemy influenced his decision to sign with Minnesota after the draft. According to the Marin Independent Journal, the Bears, Bills, Cardinals, Panthers and Saints expressed an interest in signing Bell.
Positives: Nice size. Well built. Good natural running instincts. Shows good vision and cutback ability. Has flashed productivity as a runner. Can break tackles and will fight for extra yardage. Good balance and determination. Stays on his feet and can pick up yardage after first contact. Finishes runs. Plays faster than he times. Is said to have matured as a senior in college and improved his relationship with teammates.
Negatives: Has had trouble staying healthy. Lacks explosiveness and suddenness. Does not have top end long speed. Isn't an overly physical banger between the tackles. Needs to improve his pad level; tends to run too upright. Inconsistent catching the ball. Doesn't have a lot of shake-and-bake to make defenders miss. Average career production. Demonstrated a lot of immaturity, especially as an underclassman, and has been described as a "knucklehead" by teammates. Arrived on campus with a chip on his shoulder and had a history of conflict with teammates.
Summary: Has a chance to earn the No. 3 running back spot or perhaps a spot on the practice squad if he responds to his former coach, Eric Bienemy, stays healthy, works hard and continues to mature as a person.
What they said:
"Did not appear fully recovered as a senior, and his best season came as a junior. Has a chance to make it in a zone-blocking scheme...if he matures and shows he will pay the price on the field and in the locker room." -Nolan Nawrocki, Pro Football Weekly