Raiders

Raiders Prospect Watch: Florida A&M DB Markquese Bell

The Las Vegas Raiders still need to address several holes across the roster, and while defensive back may not seem like the most pressing need, it wouldn’t hurt to add another one. Prospects such as Derek Stingley Jr. and Sauce Gardner will be the top picks at their respective positions, but Markquese Bell could be a late-round steal. In spite of playing at Florida A & M, Bell has managed to stand out, and a notable NFL Combine performance also helped his stock.

Should the Raiders be eyeing Markquese Bell?

Who is Bell? What are his strengths and weaknesses?

Causing havoc at the SWAC conference, Bell made a name for himself. In his total of two years playing college football, he put up a solid defensive clinic with 23 total tackles, 10 assisted tackles, one pass deflection, five forced fumbles, and six interceptions. He also stands at six-foot-two, weighs 212 pounds, and possesses a great motor, constantly ready to make a play on defense. Whether it’s stopping the run or making a play in the secondary, Bell made the most of his playing time. While the majority of Bell’s snaps were at safety, he showed versatility by playing outside or inside.

One of his biggest strengths would be his size. He already has an NFL-type body. That will only improve once he puts on more muscle and makes an NFL roster. He also has good vision for seeing the play before it happens and great speed on the field to either lay a hard hit or attempt to punch the ball out. Drop him in either man or zone coverage and he will perform effortlessly. Due to him being at a small school with not much big-time exposure, look at his film versus Bethune-Cookman or simply watch his combine performance.

A few of the main knocks on Bell’s game would be his previous off-the-field issues during his former school, Maryland, before he transferred to A & M. The other concern would be that sometimes he second guesses the play and gets beat by the receiver. His decision-making will obviously need to improve at the next level.

Draft Projection

While Bell went largely under the radar compared to other big-name prospects, he made the most of the combine. He ran a 4.41 in his 40-yard dash and a 4.46 in his 20-yard shuttle. Bell notched a 36.5-inch vertical jump to go with his 123-inch broad jump.

Bell will likely have to come into a team, the Raiders included, and fight for as many snaps as possible. A sixth or seventh-round choice is likely for Bell, who may carve himself a niche in camp and make the team via the practice squad. His ceiling is Antrel Rolle or Eric Berry, with his floor being Logan Ryan.

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*Top Photo: Don Juan Moore/Getty Images

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