Prospect: Stedman Bailey, WR, West VirginiaStedman Bailey

Height: 5’10¼”

Weight: 193 lb.

Athleticism:

  • Consistent deep threat as a college receiver, long speed merely average though
  • Size limitation for a boundary wide receiver, plays like a much bigger receiver than he is though
  • Struggles to highpoint due to lack of height and negligible ability as a leaper
  • Adequate quickness to separate in tight spaces

Route Running:

  • Can separate in a phone booth, but lacks long speed to create space on deep routes
  • Occasionally falls prey to balance issues as a route runner, stumbling out of the blocks
  • Wins out of breaks and on double moves with ability to accelerate quickly and create early separation
  • Tracks the deep ball extremely well with ability to maneuver his body between the ball and the defender
  • Always working back to his quarterback when plays break down, smart receiver
  • Route tree lacking with little experience out of the slot for a smaller receiver
  • Inconsistent ability to ward off contact and concentrate on the football in traffic

Hands:

  • Consistently catches the ball with only his hands, drops are very few and far between
  • Can pluck the ball away from his body with an adequate radius despite his size, extends well for the ball
  • Has ability to catch the ball over his outside shoulder comfortably, keeps defenders from the ball
  • Lacks upper body strength to fight through contact on contested balls, will drop balls when taking hits

Running/Return Ability:

  • Creates extra yardage after the catch with subtle cuts and ability to elude defenders in one on one situations
  • Lacks dynamic ability after the catch that is often desired in smaller receivers
  • Can manufacture tough yards in short yardage situations with strength and toughness
  • Has scarce experience as a kick returner, mostly used as a blocker for Tavon Austin

Leadership/Intangibles:

  • Had significant chemistry with Geno Smith as a receiver, reliable target with a proven record in the redzone
  • Drops his pads, gives great effort, and sustains very well as a blocker
  • Short history of off the field issues including being cited, but not arrested, for shoplifting cold medication in January 2012

Overall:

Very few wide receiver prospects can match Stedman Bailey as far as collegiate production goes.  The Mountaineer man totaled up a per game average of 9 receptions, 125 yards, with an unrivaled 25 total touchdown receptions.  While his more flashy teammates Tavon Austin and Geno Smith were getting all of the media attention, Bailey was really the driving force behind one of the country’s most productive offenses.  The question that will come with Bailey’s game will relate to his lack of impressive athleticism or run after catch ability for a smaller receiver.  Teams should not be scared off due to those reasons though.  Bailey makes up for his deficiencies with a nuanced feel for the wide receiver position.  Him always being on the same page as his quarterback will be huge as far as his professional production goes.  Stedman Bailey can be a quarterback’s Mr. Dependable if he can branch out his ability to run a variety of routes and can learn to play from the slot as well as the boundary.  There’s no reason to believe he can’t do these things, which is why he’s a solid option for a wide receiver needy team on the draft’s second day.

Originally published at DetroitLionsDraft.com: Stedman Bailey Scouting Report

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