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Nebraska's Bell could fill Patriots WR bill

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Brandon King, DB

INDIANAPOLIS -- The Patriots may or may not go after a wide receiver in this spring's NFL Draft.

The position is neither the team's biggest need nor one in which Bill Belichick has excelled at picking in his time in New England.

But if the Patriots look to dip into a deep, talented pool of wide receivers in this year's Combine class, Nebraska's Kenny Bell (6-1, 185) might be an intriguing option.

Not only did Bell list the Patriots among the many teams he met with Wednesday night in informal Combine interviews, the Cornhusker sounds like a guy who'd fit in the Patriots way of doing business.

Belichick often emphasizes that reliability can be more import than simple ability, and that's an area that Bell touts as one of his strengths.

"The thing that I bring most to the table as a wide receiver is consistency and I'm reliable," Bell said. "You can rely on me to make big plays when they need to be made and I consistently catch the ball, do my assignments, and I'm consistently reliable both on and off the field. In this day and age I think it's very, very important for guys to be just as reliable off the field as on the field."

Bell was a consistent, proven producer in his time at Nebraska. He had 47 catches for 788 yards and six scores in his final season. That came after consecutive 50-catch campaigns from a guy NFLDraftScout.com currently projects as a sixth-round pick.

"It's hard to sit here as not even as a rookie but as a prospect to say, 'Oh, I'm ready to go play in the NFL.' I know everything up to this point has prepared me for this moment and now it's up to me to go showcase my talents," said Bell, whose father Ken played for the Broncos from 1986-89.

The younger Bell certainly thinks he has the brains to go with the necessary brawn to make the jump to the next level.

"Not that I'm much smarter or any other player lacks intelligence, but I think my on-the-field IQ and my field vision is a strength," Bell said.

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