NFL Draft Results 2019: Raiders select PVAMU DE Quinton Bell
In 1991, the Los Angeles Raiders selected running back Nick Bell in the second round (No. 43 overall) of the NFL Draft. The Las Vegas native played three seasons for the team, totaling 853 rushing yards, seven touchdowns, 21 receptions, and 213 receiving yards.
When asked about his fondest moments as a Raider, Bell’s first and last touchdowns as a Raider were his most memorable.
“My first touchdown,” Bell said in a moment of reflection. “My first touchdown was against Houston [Oilers] in a preseason game and it was 71 yards.”
He continued, “One of the better moments I had was actually my last touchdown with Steve Smith, who is my very good friend. I pray for him every day. I just went behind him and he took me in and we won the game with no time on the clock. It’s one of the greatest games I’ve played in my life.”
It’s been 26 years since a member of the Bell family played for the Raiders, but that’s all about to change.
On the final day of the 2019 NFL Draft, in the final round, and with their final pick, Head Coach Jon Gruden and General Manager Mike Mayock selected Nick Bell’s nephew, Quinton Bell, with the No. 230 overall pick.
The Long Beach, Calif., native was a three-sport athlete growing up, participating in track, basketball, and football at Costa Mesa High School.
During an interview with Brantley Watson of The Orange County Register in 2013, Bell’s high school football coach, Wally Grant, shared that Bell has the athleticism to be great at whatever he does, regardless of the sport.
“I don’t care what the sport is,” Grant said. “If you give him a baseball bat and give him a week, he’d be good. He’s one of those kids that just has those gifts.”
Growing up, Quinton’s uncle and former Raider, Nick, knew he was athletically gifted because when young Quinton started playing football he was a natural at everything, but given his size, it was a perplexing situation for his coaches to figure out where to play him.
Originally, Quinton was asked to line up as a wide receiver, but prior to his final season in college, he was asked to make the transition to defensive end. That’s not an easy transition to make for a number of reasons, but it was no big deal for the Southern California kid.
“It really was kind of a decision I made for myself as well as for my team at the time,” he told the media via conference call Saturday. “We got a new coaching staff my senior year and they came in and they saw some potential in me that I didn’t see for myself. At receiver, I kind of wasn’t really doing too much. They came in and said, ‘Look, we think you have a chance to play at the next level at defensive end, pass rushing.’ So, at first it kind of sounded a little crazy to me, but looking back at it now, it’s probably the best decision I ever made in my life.”