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Former Ohio State safety Vonn Bell making strong impression in New Orleans

The Saints' newest safety, Vonn Bell, has the ball-hawking skills that the team needs as he prepares for his first NFL season.

Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

"Here's the thing on tape that we saw from his college career: No. 1, he has good speed. He's a good athlete. You look at him in his year before (2014), I know he only had maybe two picks his last year, but he had six the year before. He made great plays on the ball, so he has good ball skills."

- Saints secondary coach Aaron Glenn via John DeShazier,

The New Orleans Saints took Vonn Bell with the 61st overall pick, right towards the end of the second round. The former Buckeye safety was more than a solid pickup for a team desperate for some help defensively, especially in the secondary. The Saints struggled last season with creating turnovers and adding Bell to their roster should help increase that defensive category heading into next year. Bell racked up 156 tackles, eight interceptions, 15 passes defensed and two fumble recoveries in his last two seasons at Ohio State and was often times looked upon as a key playmaker for the Buckeyes defense.

Now Bell has his secondary coach excited about the possibilities of the Saints' defensive back unit next season. Glenn mentioned several times that something that stood out to him about Bell's abilities was his willingness to play special teams. Not only did Bell play with the special teams units, he was a key player, often coming away with several tackles. He wanted to be there and wasn't just going through the motions. Bell's confidence in his ability to create turnovers is also working in his favor with his new team, so it should be a fun fall for the former Buckeye.

"Considering how much talent the Buckeyes lost and how tough their schedule is, it's hard to imagine the Buckeyes earning a spot in the 2016 College Football Playoff."

- KC Joyner, ESPN

ESPN took a look at which teams had the best chances of making the 2016 College Football Playoff, and as of now, they have Ohio State on the outside looking in. The Buckeyes, as mentioned in the quote above, have lost plenty of talent to the draft and will have work to do to replace stars such as Ezekiel Elliott and Joey Bosa. Interestingly enough, ESPN listed 11 teams that realistically had a shot at finishing in the top four teams at the end of the season and the Buckeyes (obviously) weren't listed there either. The list of seven teams, including Ohio State, that fell just short of making that top 11 included Iowa, Michigan State, Ole Miss, TCU, North Carolina, and USC. Now obviously no one has the crystal ball that will tell them who ends up where at the end of the season (just look at the LGHL staff predictions).

It's still worth noting that it seems the Buckeyes could essentially end up being an underdog in 2016 and will have to prove plenty of critics wrong. Overcoming the losses of the aforementioned starters to their roster will no doubt hurt early on, but Ohio State gets a chance to showcase its new look against Oklahoma this season. That should help determine somewhat where the Buckeyes stand on a national level.

"I feel like any time — especially when I get the ball in open space — there's plenty of times where I go around the corner as a quarterback running the ball and stiff-arm one of those little DBs and keep going. Any time I get the ball in my hand, something special is going to happen. So I think the QBs know that and I think Coach knows that. I'm looking forward to it."

- Terrelle Pryor via Patrick Maks,

It seems like eons ago when Terrelle Pryor was donning the scarlet and gray, stiff-arming Oregon Ducks defenders to the turf and finding DeVier Posey in the endzone of the Rose Bowl. These days, the quarterback-turned-wide receiver is trying to make his way into a starting role with the Cleveland Browns after bouncing around various NFL teams as a quarterback. He had his ups and downs along the way, but he seems finally at peace with his new position. Pryor's still learning the ropes, but every day he seems to be getting more comfortable. Although the Browns added a new receiver to the fold with Baylor's Corey Coleman, Pryor is focused on what he can control and contribute.

It's not impossible to think that Pryor can have success at his new position. He's shown off his athleticism before, and his versatility is unquestioned. After all, Pryor caught two touchdown passes as a Buckeye alone - and that was in the Jim Tressel era! Pryor has the physique necessary as well, with his 6'6 frame and speed to stretch the field. It will be worth watching his progress over the next few months to see just how good he can become as a receiver in the NFL.