New Orleans Saints A-to-Z Roster Breakdown: RB Joique Bell


Quick-take: Bell was signed by the Saints on January 5th before the teams playoff game against the Seattle Seahawks to replace Pierre Thomas after he went on injured reserve with an ankle injury.

Prior to joining the Saints Bell spent time with the Eagles, Colts, and Bills. He saw his most significant action with the Eagles spending seven weeks with their appearing in three games but registering no stats.

Bell entered the league as an undrafted free agent with the Bills and gained notoriety for his preseason performance when he rushed for 152 yards on 27 carries (5.6 YPC) scoring two touchdowns.

Many Bills fans at the time felt he deserved a spot on the roster behind leading running back Fred Jackson and number two back C.J. Spiller.

Marshawn Lynch was still on the roster at that time so the Bills decided to stick with the veteran over Bell. Lynch was traded mid-way through the season to the Seattle Seahawks.

  • College: Wayne State (Detroit)
  • Position: Running Back
  • Age/Height/Weight: 24 years old, 5-11, 220 pounds.
  • Status: Backup

Breakdown: Bell was a beast in college racking up 6,728 rushing yards and 88 touchdowns in 44 career games with the Wayne State Warriors. He also averaged a whopping 5.7 yard per carry average, and demonstrated the ability to catch the football well posting 79 receptions for 918 yards and eight receiving touchdowns.

Wayne State is however Division II, and scouts frown at the level of competition there even though he bolled over opposing defenses, which is exactly what you would expect a true NFL level talent to do in Division II football.

He was invited to the combine and performed adequately — 120 inch broad jump, 11.33 second sixty-yard shuttle, 36.5 inch vertical leap, 6.84 second three cone drill — but decided against running the forty-yard dash.

Joique has a really nice blend of size and speed (low 4.5 range) and obviously was highly productive in college. He has good balance on contact and displays the ability to break tackles with ease.

Bell is trying to crack one of the toughest positions on the roster as the Saints are loaded with talent at the running back position.

Pierre Thomas was re-signed earlier this off-season, they will be returning last seasons leading rusher in Chris Ivory, and they draft Heisman winner Mark Ingram this past April.

All three — Thomas, Ivory, and Ingram — will be on the roster opening day, leaving very little room for the remaining running backs to make the final cut.

However Bell will be the dark horse in training camp and will be in direct competition with Lynell Hamilton, Julius Jones and Chris Taylor for a roster spot. If he flashes the same potential he did last pre-season then he has a real chance at sticking with the team for the foreseeable future.

Related: Eagles RB Bell Signs With Saints, New Orleans Saints A-to-Z Roster Breakdown: DT Remi Ayodele, New Orleans Saints A-to-Z Roster Breakdown: WR Adrian Arrington.

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