Steal of Patriots draft compared to Deebo Samuel by respected coach

Vanderbilt v South Carolina
Vanderbilt v South Carolina / Jacob Kupferman/GettyImages

The Patriots 2024 draft class has garnered a lot of excitement already despite not having yet played in a true NFL game, but one of their more under-the-radar good picks is not receiving the hype he probably should be.

In the seventh round, New England chose Jaheim Bell out of South Carolina, an intriguing tight end prospect labeled the steal of the draft by many analysts and experts.

The team has needed to add more talent to their tight end roster outside of Hunter Henry, who signed a contract extension this offseason, and Bell looks like he's the right guy for the job.

Because he was a late-round pick, there aren't a lot of expectations for him to truly pan out and become a star in the NFL. However, the latest comparison to a well respected and electric veteran might change that narrative if he can live up to the name.

Steal of Patriots draft compared to Deebo Samuel by respected coach

Everyone has their own opinions of how good a player is and who they look to play like, which can be dramatically different than someone else's impression of the same player. More often than not, those who are actually playing or coaching the game have the most accurate analyses, which bodes well for Bell's latest comp.

The tight end was projected to go a few rounds before he was picked on draft night, and why he fell might have something to do with his blocking ability, which isn't known for being stellar. However, the well-respected TJ Brown, a wide receivers coach he has worked closely with, believes Bell plays similarly to 49ers' receiver and should have been Patriot Deebo Samuel.

It might be high praise for a kid just coming out of college, but if there's even a slight accuracy about this comparison, the Patriots may have hit a bigger jackpot than expected.

“When I met [Jaheim], he was a big kid. He played receiver in high school. He played everything in high school. I coached against him his senior year in the playoffs. …He ran the first punt back. Next drive, they get the ball, he caught a pass, took it to the crib. Next time, we scored, kicked the ball to them, he took a kick return to the crib.

“Jaheim has always been a great athlete with big size. So I actually think ya’ll got a steal with him on some Deebo-type stuff because he can really do everything. He can get stuff out of the backfield. He can run routes. He can block. Actually at the Senior Bowl, they actually said he had the best blocking out of all of the tight ends that was there.”

Considering the talent that Brown has worked with and the work he's done to make those players even better, it's noteworthy to hear what he has to say about Bell's potential with the Patriots and should be more respected than if it came from nearly anyone else.

Bell will certainly have big shoes to fill now that this comp has been thrown out there, but he's already shown to be a confident player. Not long after being drafted, he shared his desire to be like the next Rob Gronkowski in New England.

If that's not a sign of ultimate confidence, what is?

If he can harness his unique skillset and the Patriots utilize him correctly, the offense could be even more explosive than previously believed. There has always been a desire to see a Samuel-like player in New England, especially after hearing how close he was to being drafted by Bill Belichick five years ago.

So, if they finally found their own version of him this year, it couldn't have happened at a better time.

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