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HoosierCat

Seventh Round Pick: Markus Bailey, LB, Purdue

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Overview

Lunch-pail linebacker able to consistently chalk up production totals in a variety of columns despite a lack of top-tier athleticism. Bailey's intent and play strength are factors that stand out in his success. His effort rarely wavers during a rep and he has the strength and football IQ to put himself in quality positions to make plays. He needs to process blocking schemes faster and take more chances, as his athletic limitations will show up more frequently against NFL competition. Knee injuries in 2015 and 2019 might hurt his draft standing a little bit, but he has middle-round talent as a quality three-down backup.

Strengths

Above-average production against the run and pass

Plays with good field demeanor and aggression

Sees the field with a wide lens

Quick to diagnose and respond against run

Throws early punch to separate from climbing blocks on the move

Expands frame in the hole to cut off running back's options

Thuds with wrap-up pop and drives through target

Play strength to handle solo tackling duties on a regular basis

Able to slide out over slot and re-route in space

Anticipates and drives quickly on top of pass catcher

Weaknesses

Two major knee injuries at Purdue

Lacks explosive athleticism and forced to rely on eyes

Doesn't play with plus run-down speed

Step slow to recognize blocking scheme and fit it up

Runs rather than scrapes, affecting balance and leverage

Doesn't step downhill and smack lead blocks to alter their plans

Lag in his change-of-direction time

Struggles to weave around traffic when flowing wide

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Wonder if they will pick up Burrow TE Moss or not if he does not get drafted. I’m surprised they didn’t pick one up

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While I would have liked to see LB sooner, hard to complain with not only getting good value, but really putting forth effort to fix a glaring weakness.

Despite the knee injuries, he was still slotted to go much higher by all accounts.

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Yeah, he’s probably a day 2 pick without the injury issues. Certainly worth a flier in the seventh.

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I keep watching highlights and game play of this kid and I continue to love what I see. If his knees hold up and there is true open competition for those linebacker spots, he’s going to surprise some people !!

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Bailey is a stud. Unfortunately his knees are not and that is why he was available in the 7th. “IF” he stays healthy, he will definitely be a contributor this season. I’m not so sure I’m willing to make a bet on him staying healthy yet, but I sure am rooting for him though !!

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