You have reached your limit of free articles this month.

Enjoy unlimited access to SpringfieldNewsSun.com

Starting at just 99¢ for 8 weeks.

GREAT REASONS TO SUBSCRIBE TODAY!

  • IN-DEPTH REPORTING
  • INTERACTIVE STORYTELLING
  • NEW TOPICS & COVERAGE
  • ePAPER
X

You have read of premium articles.

Get unlimited access to all of our breaking news, in-depth coverage and interactive features. Starting at just 99c for 8 weeks.

X

Welcome to SpringfieldNewsSun.com

Your source for Clark and Champaign counties’ hometown news. All readers have free access to a limited number of stories every month.

If you are a News-Sun subscriber, please take a moment to login for unlimited access.

MSU’s Bell could be fit for Bengals


The Cincinnati Bengals are expected to address the running back position in the NFL draft, which starts Thursday. Many think a scatback type could boost the team’s offense and run game.

But a big back in their own backyard might be more appealing. 

Michigan State’s Le'Veon Bell is an ideal fit for what the Bengals like to do in the ground game. He’s a powerful inside rusher with the ability to make one cut and head upfield.

Bell, a Columbus native, is said to be pushing up draft boards with draft day approaching. Several scouts confirmed that the former Spartan is projected as a second-round pick but has a chance to sneak into the late first round with Denver (No. 28) and Green Bay (No. 26) as likely candidates.

Other teams showing interest include Pittsburgh, the New York Jets, Oakland, Arizona, St. Louis, Atlanta and, of course, Cincinnati.

The Bengals are trying to build a troika of running backs behind starter BenJarvus Green-Ellis, who will turn 28 in July. Adding a workhouse at the backup position makes sense. Contrary to popular belief, the AFC North remains a ground-and-pound division and a versatile back is essential. Bell has drawn comparisons to former Bengals running back Corey Dillon as well as Texans Arian Foster.

The 6-foot-2, 230-pound Bell is a complete back with good speed, pass catching ability and a punishing running style. He was a true bell-cow for the Spartans, carrying 44 times for 210 yards and two touchdowns against Boise State. He finished the 2012 season rushing for 1,844 yards and 12 touchdowns behind a mediocre offensive line. Bell demonstrated explosiveness and durability throughout his three-year career at Michigan State. He carried 671 times for 3,346 yards and 33 touchdowns, and caught 78 passes for 531 yards and a score. Despite the high output in production, he still has plenty of tread left on the tires.

Bell, 21, enters the draft as a junior but due to graduate this summer, which shows his maturity and intelligence.  He’s known as a high-character guy. Bell’s stock has been moving upward since his performance at the combine in February.

These are the days of the smaller, more compact runner but some teams still have the mindset of “go big or play special teams.” While Alabama’s Ed Lacy is being dissected like a lab frog due to injury concerns and running behind an O-line stacked with NFL talent, Bell is emerging as the favorite power back of some scouts.


Reader Comments ...


Next Up in Sports

Blue Jackets draft Miami RedHawk, Columbus native in NHL draft
Blue Jackets draft Miami RedHawk, Columbus native in NHL draft

The Columbus Blue Jackets selected Miami University men’s hockey standout Carson Meyer with their second  pick in the  sixth round of his weekend’s NHL draft. An excited Meyer tweeted about the pick on his personal Twitter account, including a photo of himself in his Blue Jackets junior team uniform. Meyer was raised in Columbus...
Michael Jordan fan has crying LeBron James tattooed on leg
Michael Jordan fan has crying LeBron James tattooed on leg

Kalen Gilleese concedes that LeBron James is one of pro basketball’s greatest players, but he still believes that the Cleveland Cavaliers’ star is not in the class of Hall of Famer Michael Jordan, his favorite player. >> Read more trending news So after the Cavs were beaten in the NBA Finals by the Golden State Warriors, Gilleese...
Six-run sixth propels Dragons past Captains
Six-run sixth propels Dragons past Captains

The Dragons have been in a hitting slump through June but breathed fire into their bats Friday night against Lake County. Dayton had 12 hits in an 8-3 win over the Captains, five of which came during a six-run sixth inning. It was a welcome change for Dragons fans, especially against Lake County. Though the Dragons (42-30) were among the Midwest League&rsquo...
Kennard thrilled to be close to home with Pistons
Kennard thrilled to be close to home with Pistons

Among the many small details from the NBA Draft, Jennifer Kennard will remember the Cheetos. Luke Kennard’s mom survived a tense but thrilling evening by snacking at the table Thursday at the Barclays Center. There were also granola bars and other items for the draft prospects and their families, and when the Detroit Pistons selected the Franklin...
Reds send one prospect to Triple-A to call up another from Double-A
Reds send one prospect to Triple-A to call up another from Double-A

The Cincinnati Reds sent Amir Garrett down to Triple-A to make room for Louis Castillo on Friday. They announced earlier in the week Castillo, their No. 5 prospect according to MLBPipeline.com, would make his MLB debut in a start in Washington against the Nationals on Friday night. Garrett, a rookie lefty, had a strong start to the season but has struggled...
More Stories