3 stats Chicago Bears fans must know about DL Travis Bell

Kamil Krzaczynski-USA TODAY Sports

The Chicago Bears surprised many when they drafted Travis Bell from Kennesaw State. Not many knew about him, and General Manager Ryan Poles went straight to his character and personality when describing why the team drafted him.

That is great, but what can Chicago Bears hope to see from Travis Bell at the NFL level?

3. Travis Bell broke out in 2021

Ryan Poles talked about Travis Bell having a full-time job while also playing football at Kenesaw. That is not surprising, especially because around the time the pandemic struck, there was probably no buzz about him making the NFL. Bell had played 293 snaps in his first three seasons.

Then, things finally started to piece together for him. He had 26 pressures in 2021, and then 20 pressures in 2022. He did go from 17 run stops up to 21 run stops. Either way, almost all of his production is from the last two seasons, and any of his NFL dreams coming true materialized over the last two years. That is an impressive rise.

2. Travis Bell played the 3T, but Chicago Bears view him as a 1T

When Ryan Poles was talking about Zacch Pickens and Gervon Dexter he said he liked their versatility, but when he talked about Travis Bell, he talked more like this player was a nose tackle. This will be interesting to watch because Bell played the 3T mainly in college.

He has 1,048 snaps at Kenesaw State. He played 641 snaps in the B-Gap, and 321 snaps outside and over the tackle. That left him just 86 snaps in the A-Gap as a nose tackle. In some ways, this could signal his best is yet to come. In other ways, there is even more projection than you think.

1. Travis Bell brings an interesting athletic profile to the Chicago Bears

One of the big reasons the Chicago Bears are betting on Travis Bell at this point is his athletic profile. He is not an elite athlete, but he is in a higher percentile. Beyond that, he compares rather favorably to another small school nose tackle.

We are not comparing him to Javon Hargave on the field, and the Pittsburgh Steelers drafted Hargrave in round three. Still, if you recall, they had Cameron Heyward, and Stephon Tuitt, and he played nose tackle for them which is why he flew under the radar. Then, he exploded with the Eagles in a bigger role.

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The early season version of Hargrave as a nose tackle for the Steelers may be closer to a comparison than some think. It is what Hargrave did after that that made him the player he is.