Isaiah Bell was regarded as an average safety by Scout and Rivals, but ESPN* had him as a top 100 overall player, invited him to their all-star game, and wrote an over-the-top positive appraisal of his playmaking skills in the secondary. A sample:
...shows outstanding ball skills...rules the secondary as a free safety. Has great instincts and plays outstanding zone coverage especially in the three deep. Should be a solid halves player also in two deep zone...Breaks quickly on the pass with a burst to the football. High points the football and has great timing on the interception...magnificent kickoff return specialist; has good speed and can read his blocks. Has a second gear and can kick it in to blow by would-be tacklers....A good openfield tackler...has good foot agility and shows flexibility in the hips. Can change direction without loss of speed or balance...
Note the many comments about speed/agility.
Amidst other threads I often bring up Bell to a resounding chorus of confused shrugs. No one seems to know much except that he was converted to LB, and got a lot bigger. That move always seemed odd to me since we are so weak/thin at safety. (I do not mean weak/thin literally, as a shot at Vinopal--you know what I mean.)
So...commenters at Scout are now suggesting Bell is moving to DE. (!?)
The kid who was a "magnificent kickoff return specialist" is being pushed up to the line? Does that seem odd, especially with the new staff's presumed emphasis on defensive bone density?
This is a pretty bizarre positional evolution for this kid, no? Free safety / kick returner to DL? Can you really eat and lift your way across the positional ocean like that?
Please help me understand, so I can stop typing sentences with question marks.
*I know a lot of people think ESPN's rankings are generally sub-par or impacted by a conflict of interest since they also host one of the two all-star games. The first point is simply wrong (some discussion here). But there may be some merit to the second argument, and since Bell was an UA invitee, I am willing to give the rating an asterisk.