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UNM Football: Bell's Pro-Day Numbers Not His Best, But Solid

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — Shock and awe? No. Former offensive tackle Lobo Byron Bell didn’t hit some of his target numbers Thursday in front of NFL scouts.

But his agent, Brian Hamilton, said Bell’s performance at UNM’s Pro Day compares favorably with offensive lineman projected to go in the middle rounds of next month’s NFL Draft.

“I’m talking about fourth or fifth round,” said Hamilton, who also represents former Lobos Erik Cook and Travis Brown.

Five NFL teams, Hamilton said — the New York Jets, New Orleans Saints, Arizona Cardinals, Oakland Raiders and Indianapolis Colts — sent representatives to Albuquerque.

The Journal was unable to reach Bell for comment Thursday.

On Tuesday, the former UNM offensive tackle said he hoped to run the 40-yard dash in 5.1 seconds and bench-press 225 pounds 26 or 28 times.

Hamilton said Bell was timed at 5.35 in the 40 on Thursday and did 20 reps at 225 pounds.

At last month’s NFL Combine, to which Bell was not invited, the best 40 time run by an offensive lineman was 4.93 by Cincinnati’s Jason Kelce. The slowest was 5.75 by Nebraska’s Ricky Henry.

Syracuse’s Ryan Bartholomew had the most bench reps at the combine with 34. Florida’s Maurice Hurt had the fewest at 18.

Hamilton said Bell also fell short of his previous best in the vertical jump.

“He’s topped out at 34½ (inches),” Hamilton said. “(Thursday), he got 30½.”

At the combine, Southern California’s Kristofer O’Dowd and Appalachian State’s Daniel Kilgore tied for the best vertical leap 32.5 inches. Lehigh’s William Rackley had the worst at 23.5.

Hamilton said he was pleased with the agility and change of direction Bell displayed in the 20-yard shuttle (4.76) and the three-cone drill (7.69).

At the combine, the best shuttle time was 4.14 by Cincinnati’s Kelce. The slowest was 5.56 by Houston’s Isaiah Thompson.

In the three-cone drill, the best time at the combine was Kelce’s 7.22. The slowest was 8.42 by Nebraska’s Keith Williams.

Pro football scouts leave little to chance, and little about a prospect goes unmeasured.

Hamilton said Bell’s arms were measured at 34½ inches.

“When Byron went to the Texas Vs. the Nation (all-star game), a lot of teams were saying they thought he had short arms, so therefore he played guard,” Hamilton said.

“(But) his arm length is tackle-worthy, so his versatility is really gonna serve him well.”

Bell weighed in at 339 pounds, Hamilton said.

Hamilton said Bell had a private workout last week with Carolina, conducted by Panthers assistant offensive line coach Ray Brown.

Brown spent 20 NFL seasons as an offensive lineman.

Several other former Lobos participated in Thursday’s Pro Day. Their results were unavailable.

A NEW LOBO: According to multiple online reports, confirmed by the young man himself on Facebook, Delaware prep running back Jhurell Pressley has signed a letter of intent to play for UNM.

Pressley had 887 yards on 100 carries as a senior for Red Lion Christian Academy in Bear, Del.

The Lobos have no scholarships available for 2011; coach Mike Locksley suggested Pressley will “grayshirt” and enroll in January 2012.

Photo Credit – DEAN HANSON/JOURNAL
Cutline – Lobo offensive lineman Byron Bell, right, runs the 40-yard dash for NFL scouts at UNM’s Pro Day on Thursday. Bell was timed with a 5.35-second 40.

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