Vonn Bell

Vonn Christian Bell (born December 12, 1994) is an American football safety for the Cincinnati Bengals of the National Football League (NFL). He played college football at Ohio State and was drafted by the New Orleans Saints in the second round of the 2016 NFL Draft.

Vonn Bell
Bell after the National Championship victory
Bell with the Buckeyes in 2015
Cincinnati Bengals
Personal information
Born: (1994-12-12) December 12, 1994 (age 25)
Chattanooga, Tennessee
Height:5 ft 11 in (1.80 m)
Weight:205 lb (93 kg)
Career information
High school:Ridgeland (Rossville, Georgia)
College:Ohio State
NFL Draft:2016 / Round: 2 / Pick: 61
Career history
Roster status:Active
Career highlights and awards
Career NFL statistics as of 2019
Total tackles:345
Forced fumbles:7
Fumble recoveries:7
Pass deflections:14
Defensive touchdowns:1
Player stats at NFL.com
Player stats at PFR

Early yearsEdit

Bell's first two years of high school were at Chattanooga Central High School in Harrison, Tennessee, where he received all district honors. Bell then attended Ridgeland High School in Rossville, Georgia. In Bell's senior year he led Ridgeland to the Georgia class AAAA state championship but lost to Sandy Creek 41-10. He was rated by both Rivals.com and Scout.com as a five-star recruit and was ranked among the number two safety in the country.[1][2] Bell was rated as a five-star recruit by 247 Sports and a high four-star by ESPN who rated him as the 50th best player overall in the nation regardless of position. Bell was elected to play in the 2013 Under Armour All-American game. On February 6, 2013, he committed to Ohio State University.[3][4]

College careerEdit

Bell played in all 13 games as a backup his freshman season in 2013, but made his first career start on January 3, 2014 in the Discover Orange Bowl where he recorded his first collegiate interception.[5] Bell became a full-time starter for the Buckeyes his sophomore season in 2014.[6][7] He played in all 15 games recording 91 tackles and a conference-leading six interceptions.[8] In the 2015 College Football Playoff National Championship victory over Oregon, he recorded six tackles and a sack.

Professional careerEdit

Bell attended the NFL Scouting Combine in Indianapolis, Indiana, but opted to skip the combine drills due to a hamstring injury. He chose to only meet with team representatives and had his measurements and weight taken. On March 11, 2016, he attended Ohio State's pro day and performed the 40-yard dash, 20-yard dash, 10-yard dash, and vertical drill for scouts and team representatives.[9] He also attended private workouts and visits with multiple teams, including the Minnesota Vikings, Buffalo Bills, Atlanta Falcons, Los Angeles Rams, Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Jacksonville Jaguars, Pittsburgh Steelers, and Tennessee Titans among others.[10][11][12] Bell was projected to be a second round pick by NFL Draft experts and scouts. He was ranked the second best safety prospect in the draft by NFL analyst Mike Mayock and ESPN, the third best strong safety by DraftScout.com, and was ranked the 11th best defensive back by Sports Illustrated.[13][14][15]

Pre-draft measurables
Height Weight Arm length Hand size 40-yard dash 10-yd split 20-yd split 20-ss 3-cone Vert jump Broad
5 ft 10 34 in
(1.80 m)
199 lb
(90 kg)
32 38 in
(0.82 m)
9 12 in
(0.24 m)
4.53 s 1.60 s 2.62 s 30 12 in
(0.77 m)
All values from NFL Combine/Ohio State's Pro Day[16]

New Orleans SaintsEdit

The New Orleans Saints selected Bell in the second round (61st overall) of the 2016 NFL Draft. They traded their third-round (78th overall) and fourth-round (112th overall) selections to the New England Patriots in order to move up to the 61st pick, which the Patriots acquired in a trade that sent Chandler Jones to the Arizona Cardinals in exchange for the pick and Jonathan Cooper. and the Saints selected Bell. The Patriots went on to select NC State's Joe Thuney and Georgia's Malcolm Mitchell with their acquired selections.[17]

External video
  Saints select Vonn Bell 61st overall

2016 season: Rookie yearEdit

On May 10, 2016, the Saints signed Bell to a four-year, $3.97 million contract that includes a signing bonus of $1.08 million.[18][19]

Throughout training camp, Bell competed to be the starting free safety against veteran Jairus Byrd.[20] He joined a group of established veteran safeties, including Jairus Byrd, Kenny Vaccaro, and Roman Harper. Head coach Sean Payton named Bell the backup free safety behind Byrd to start the regular season.[21][22]

External video
  Saints’ season review: Vonn Bell highlights

Bell made his NFL debut in the Saints' season-opening 35–34 loss to the Oakland Raiders.[23] The following week, he made his first NFL start as a nickel back and recorded a season-high nine combined tackles during a 16–13 road loss against the New York Giants.[23] Bell made his first NFL tackle on wide receiver Sterling Shepard after Shepard caught a five-yard pass on the Giants' first offensive snap.[24] During Week 9, Bell recorded six combined tackles and was credited with half a sack during a 41–23 road victory over the San Francisco 49ers.[23] He made his first sack with teammate Cameron Jordan, as they tackled Colin Kaepernick for a five-yard loss in the third quarter.[25] In Week 15, Bell tied his season-high of nine combined tackles and forced a fumble in a 48–41 road victory over the Arizona Cardinals.[23]

Bell finished his rookie year with 87 combined tackles (61 solo), four pass deflections, two forced fumbles, and a sack in 16 games and 14 starts.[26] He was inconsistent throughout his rookie season and supplanted Byrd at free safety for a brief period at the beginning of the season before losing the role due to issues in pass coverage. He started two games at free safety and started 12 as either a nickel back or third safety in Dennis Allen's third-safety technique.[27]

2017 seasonEdit

During training camp, Bell competed against rookie Marcus Williams for the job as the starting free safety. Head coach Sean Payton officially named him the starter to begin the regular season, alongside strong safety Kenny Vaccaro.[28]

During Week 6, Bell recorded five combined tackles and made his first solo sack on Matthew Stafford during a 52–38 win against the Detroit Lions.[29] In Week 11, he collected a season-high 13 combined tackles (ten solo) and a sack in a 34–31 victory over the Washington Redskins.[29] The following week, Bell made 11 combined tackles (nine solo) and sacked Jared Goff once during a 26–20 road loss against the Los Angeles Rams.[29]

Bell finished his second professional season with 83 combined tackles (62 solo), 4.5 sacks, and two pass deflections in 16 games and ten starts.[26] Pro Football Focus gave Bell an overall grade of 68.7, ranking him 65th among all qualifying safeties in 2017.[30]

The Saints finished atop the NFC South with an 11-5 record. On January 7, 2018, Bell started in his first NFL playoff game and recorded nine combined tackles and sacked Cam Newton in a 31–26 victory against the Carolina Panthers in the NFC Wildcard Game.[29] The following week, he made eight solo tackles during a 29–24 road loss against the Minnesota Vikings in the NFC Divisional Round.[29]

2018 seasonEdit

External video
  Vonn Bell punches ball from Moore after big run

Throughout training camp, Bell competed against Kurt Coleman to be the starting strong safety. Head coach Sean Payton named Bell the backup strong safety to begin the regular season.[31] During Week 16, he collected a season-high ten combined tackles (seven solo) during a 31-28 victory against the Pittsburgh Steelers.

Bell finished his third season with a career-high 89 combined tackles (63 solo), three pass deflections, one sack, and one forced fumble in 16 games and eight starts.[26] Bell shared the starting strong safety role with Kurt Coleman in 2018 and was also the nickel back in packages the required five defensive backs.[32] Bell received an overall grade of 74.3 from Pro Football Focus in 2018, which ranked 24th among all qualified safeties.

2019 seasonEdit

During a Week 3 33-27 road victory over the Seattle Seahawks, Bell recorded 9 tackles and recovered a fumble by running back Chris Carson, which he returned for his first NFL touchdown.[33] In the next game against the Dallas Cowboys, Bell forced a fumble off of running back Ezekiel Elliott in the narrow 12–10 victory.[34] During Week 7 against the Chicago Bears, Bell recorded a team high eight tackles and forced a fumble on wide receiver Anthony Miller and recovered it in the 36–25 road victory.[35] During Week 14 against the San Francisco 49ers, Bell recorded a team high 13 tackles and sacked Jimmy Garoppolo once during the narrow 48–46 loss.[36]

Cincinnati BengalsEdit

On March 26, 2020, Bell signed a three-year, $18 million contract with the Cincinnati Bengals.[37][38]

NFL statisticsEdit

Regular seasonEdit

Year Team Games Tackles Fumbles Interceptions
GP GS Comb Solo Ast Sack FF FR Yds TD Int Yds Avg Lng TD PD
2016 NO 16 14 87 61 26 1.0 2 1 0 0 0 0 0.0 0 0 4
2017 NO 16 10 83 62 21 4.5 2 0 0 0 0 0 0.0 0 0 2
2018 NO 16 8 88 62 26 1.0 1 1 0 0 0 0 0.0 0 0 3
2019 NO 13 13 86 63 23 1.5 2 5 38 1 1 19 19.0 19 0 5
Career 61 45 345 249 96 8.0 7 7 38 1 1 19 19.0 19 0 14



Year Team Games Tackles Fumbles Interceptions
GP GS Comb Solo Ast Sack FF FR Yds TD Int Yds Avg Lng TD PD
2017 NO 2 2 17 12 5 1.0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0.0 0 0 0
2018 NO 2 2 8 6 2 0.0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0.0 0 0 1
2019 NO 1 1 7 4 3 0.0 0 1 6 0 0 0 0.0 0 0 0
Career 5 5 32 22 10 1.0 0 1 6 0 0 0 0.0 0 0 1


Personal lifeEdit

Bell's older brother Volonte Bell was an assistant coach at Chattanooga State Community College. Volonte Bell was killed in a car accident on February 24, 2020.[41]


  1. ^ Rivals.com bio
  2. ^ Scout.com
  3. ^ Football recruiting: Safety Bell commits to Ohio State
  4. ^ OSU's lead for Vonn Bell too much for Vols
  6. ^ Vonn Bell becoming face of Ohio State defense
  7. ^ Moneyballs and cupcakes: Why Ohio State's Vonn Bell is always in the right place and how he's rewarded
  8. ^ Buckeyes' Bell sees bold vision becoming reality
  9. ^ "*Vonn Bell, DS #3 SS, Ohio State". DraftScout.com. Retrieved April 12, 2018.
  10. ^ Lambert, Terry (May 23, 2016). "2016 NFL Draft Report: Vonn Bell to visit Titans". musiccitymiracles.com. Retrieved April 12, 2018.
  11. ^ "2016 NFL Draft: LA Rams To Visit With Ohio St. S Vonn Bell". turfshowtimes.com. April 7, 2016. Retrieved April 12, 2018.
  12. ^ Moody, Dennis. "Safety Vonn Bell Made A Pre-Draft Visit To The Bills". buffalowdown.com. Retrieved April 12, 2018.
  13. ^ Burke, Chris (April 12, 2016). "2016 NFL Draft position rankings". SI.com. Retrieved April 12, 2018.
  14. ^ Mayock, Mike (April 25, 2016). "Mike Mayock's 2016 NFL Draft top 100 prospect rankings". NFL.com. Retrieved April 12, 2018.
  15. ^ Legwold, Jeff (April 25, 2016). "Ranking the draft's top 100 players". ESPN.com. Retrieved April 12, 2018.
  16. ^ "NFL Draft Profile: Vonn Bell". NFL.com. Retrieved April 12, 2018.
  17. ^ Dabe, Christopher (April 30, 2016). "New Orleans Saints trade up, select Vonn Bell in second round of 2016 NFL Draft". NOLA.com. Retrieved January 15, 2018.
  18. ^ "Saints Sign Safety Vonn Bell to a Four-Year Contract". NewOrleansSaints.com. May 10, 2016. Retrieved January 15, 2018.
  19. ^ "Spotrac.com: Vonn Bell contract". Spotrac.com. Retrieved April 12, 2018.
  20. ^ "New Orleans Saints 2016 Training Camp Preview". defpen.com. Retrieved April 12, 2018.
  21. ^ "Saints Release First Depth Chart for 2016 Season". foxsports.com. September 7, 2016. Retrieved April 12, 2018.
  22. ^ Hendrix, John (September 8, 2016). "Saints' Week 1 depth chart lists Paul Kruger, Jahri Evans as starters".
  23. ^ a b c d "NFL Player stats: Vonn Bell (2016)". NFL.com. Retrieved April 12, 2018.
  24. ^ "NFL Game Center: Week 2-2016: New Orleans Saints @ New York Giants". NFL.com. Retrieved April 12, 2018.
  25. ^ "NFL Game Center: Week 9-2016: New Orleans Saints @ San Francisco 49ers". NFL.com. Retrieved April 12, 2018.
  26. ^ a b c "NFL Player stats: Vonn Bell (career)". NFL.com. Retrieved April 12, 2018.
  27. ^ Triplett, Mike (January 12, 2017). "Vonn Bell was versatile, inconsistent while leading Saints rookies in snaps". espn.co.uk. Retrieved April 12, 2018.
  28. ^ Anderson, Roy (September 6, 2017). "Saints release first unofficial depth chart of regular season *UPDATED*". whodatdish.com. Retrieved April 12, 2018.
  29. ^ a b c d e "NFL Player stats: Vonn Bell (2017)". NFL.com. Retrieved April 12, 2018.
  30. ^ "Pro Football Focus: Vonn Bell". profootballfocus.com. Retrieved April 12, 2018.
  31. ^ "Saints reveal depth chart vs. Bucs". 247Sports.com. September 9, 2018. Retrieved January 18, 2019.
  32. ^ "Unleashed: Saints safety Vonn Bell is playing better than ever in expanded role". theadvocate.com. November 1, 2018. Retrieved January 17, 2019.
  33. ^ "No Brees, no problem: Bridgewater, Saints top Seahawks 33-27". www.espn.com. September 22, 2019. Retrieved September 22, 2019.
  34. ^ "Saints top Cowboys in 12-10 defensive struggle". www.espn.com. September 29, 2019. Retrieved September 29, 2019.
  35. ^ "Bridgewater throws for 2 TDs, surging Saints top Bears 36-25". www.espn.com. October 20, 2019. Retrieved October 20, 2019.
  36. ^ "Garoppolo's 4 TD passes help 49ers top Saints, 48-46". www.espn.com. December 8, 2019. Retrieved December 8, 2019.
  37. ^ Hobson, Geoff (March 25, 2020). "Reported Vonn Bell Deal Rings In Culture Change As Bengals Revamp Defense". Bengals.com. Retrieved March 28, 2020.
  38. ^ Patra, Kevin (March 25, 2020). "Bengals agree to 3-year deal with safety Vonn Bell". NFL.com.
  39. ^ "Vonn Bell Stats". Pro-Football-Reference.com. Retrieved September 6, 2019.
  40. ^ "Vonn Bell Stats". Pro-Football-Reference.com. Retrieved September 6, 2019.
  41. ^ Triplett, Mike (February 25, 2020). "Chattanooga State asst. Volonte Bell killed in accident". ESPN. Retrieved February 25, 2020.

External linksEdit