LB Mike Bell has had a go of it the past few years on his way up to getting signed by the Bills in April. The former safety out of Fresno state declared for the draft following his junior year and went undrafted after originally being projected as a Day 3 pick in 2019. Following the draft, he was brought into rookie mini-camp by the Bills but did not end up getting signed.
Whether the Bills liked him enough from the rookie mini-camp or whether they saw the gains he produced during his year away from football, they saw something enough in him to bring him back as potential linebacker depth. He ended up gaining nearly 20 pounds of muscle to add to his 6’3” frame which helped him fill out for his switch to linebacker.
Along with his increase in size, he did not have to battle back from any previous injuries. In fact, during his time at Fresno State, he did not have any publicly reported injuries. The only time that he missed was the first two games of the 2017 season; a blowout win over Incarnate Word and a shellacking at the hands of Alabama. There are not any reports of spring injuries he was recovering from, preseason issues, or suspensions. Unfortunately, this is quite common to have incomplete or unknown information at the Division I levels.
Bills Injury Impact:
Bell has an upward climb to make the roster. He is switching positions, hasn’t played a meaningful football game in nearly two years, and has to adjust to playing at a different weight. It does help that Bell is fresh from a medical standpoint as he does not have to battle back from any injuries compared to his counterparts on the Bills.
As there are only 8 other linebackers on the roster, he has an outside shot to make the roster as a depth option, though he is likely more suited for a practice squad spot for now. But as we have seen every year, there are always guys that stand out that had no business making a roster, but beat the odds and make their dream come true.