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Purdue star receiver David Bell confirmed in an announcement on social media Wednesday that he is declaring for the 2022 NFL Draft. The 6-foot-2 Indianapolis, Indiana native was named a 2021 CBS Sports/247Sports first-team All-American this season after catching 93 passes for 1,286 yards and six touchdowns as a junior.

Assuming Bell does not play against Tennessee in the Music City Bowl, he will depart Purdue with 232 career receptions and 21 touchdowns receiving in just 29 total games. 

"Growing up watching football with my grandfather at a young age, I realized what I wanted to do," Bell said in a video. "Since I was a little kid, I always had dreams and aspirations to play in the NFL, and that time has finally come."

Bell was particularly huge for the Boilermakers in upset victories over Michigan State and Iowa this season, catching 11 passes for 240 yards against the Hawkeyes and 11 grabs for 217 yards against the Spartans. His draft declaration comes two days after Purdue star linebacker George Karlaftis, also a junior, declared for the draft as well.

Karlaftis will leave Purdue with 97 career tackles, including 29 tackles for loss and 14 sacks on his résumé. He was voted a second-team CBS Sports All-American this season.

Here are the takeaways from the news that Bell and Karlaftis are opting to move on from college football.

Purdue's peak?

After going 6-12 in the 2019 and 2020 seasons, this year's Purdue team enjoyed a nice bounce back under fifth-year coach Jeff Brohm. The wins over Iowa, which was No. 2 at the time, and Michigan State, which was No. 5, are marquee victories that restore faith in the program's direction.

Now the question will be whether Brohm can sustain the momentum with his best players from both side of the football moving on. The Boilermakers' 2021 recruiting class ranked last in the Big Ten, and their 2022 haul sits at seventh. The pedestrian incoming talent combined with the outgoing exodus will raise fair questions about whether the Boilermakers can match this season in 2022 or 2023.

Draft projections

Karlaftis is a projected first round pick, but opinions differ on where he'll be selected. In his most-recent mock draft, Ryan Wilson of CBS Sports projected Karlaftis at No. 22 to the Los Angeles Chargers. However, fellow CBS Sports expert Chris Trapasso has Karlaftis going at No. 4 to the New York Jets.

Bell is ranked No. 34 in the latest CBS Sports NFL Draft prospect rankings, but did not crack the first round in our most-recent mock drafts. However, with his speed, hands and high-caliber performances against some of the better defenses on Purdue's schedule this season, it would be no shock to see Bell creep into the first round.