The Pittsburgh Steelers have drafted a player who played his college football at Ohio State in five of the last six drafts so it won’t be a shock if they repeat that process once again during the 2016 NFL Draft. While Ohio State cornerback Eli Apple is a player who has been linked to the Steelers in mock drafts quite a bit so far this offseason, Buckeye safety Vonn Bell let it be known during his NFL Scouting Combine media session in Indianapolis that he was set to have a formal interview with Pittsburgh later that evening.
At the time Bell spoke to the media, he said he had already had an informal meeting with the Steelers and also insinuated that a formal one was set to take place as well. The video of his media session that was posted by Steve Helwagen is below.
“We’re going to see what happens when I have a formal interview with them,” Bell said.
Bell, who only lifted at the combine due to a hamstring injury, measured in at 5106, 199-pounds while in Indianapolis. Last season, he recorded 92 total tackles, 2 interceptions and 9 defensed passes in the 13 games that he played in. In 2014, however, Bell recorded 65 total tackles in addition to 6 interceptions and 6 passes defensed. He declared for the 2016 NFL Draft in January as an underclassman.
During his media session, Bell was asked about his play against the run during his college career as that seems to be a big knock on him ahead of the draft. He agreed that it could’ve been better.
“Sometimes you get lazy, but as I’ve seen on film while I was sitting down with some scouts, they was tearing me up a little bit, but it’s something to fix,” said Bell. “It’s not hard to fix. Just got to run to the ball a little harder and just be more consistent in your play.”
Bell was also asked whether or not he believes he can cover the bigger athletic tight ends at the next level as well.
“I’ve been playing against great tight ends all my years at Ohio State,” Bell said. “We had Jeff Heuerman and Nick Vannett, those are pretty big guys. You just cover them, be physical, just have fun. You’re out here for a reason and go show them why you’re here.”
While at Ohio State, Bell lined up mostly as a single-high and nickel safety and he’ll definitely have to improve his tackling at the NFL level judging by the few games I’ve watched. While it’s hard to gauge exactly where Bell will ultimately wind up being selected, one would think that he’ll likely hear his name called at some point during the second day of the draft.
One thing is for sure, Bell doesn’t lack confidence as this was is answer when asked if he’s the top safety in this year’s draft class.
“I am,” Bell said. “I’m the full package. You’ll get a playmaker, you’ll get a guy who can tackle in the open field, you’ll get a guy who can make plays, you’ll get a guy that can bring the whole the team together. And you’re just going to get a leader and you’ll get another coach on the field.”