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Hawaii 5-0
03-20-2013, 02:48 AM
Harris: WVUs Bailey a good fit for Steelers

http://triblive.com/csp/mediapool/sites/dt.common.streams.StreamServer.cls?STREAMOID=hmn1E 6ja201e7pjECmDn8s$daE2N3K4ZzOUsqbU5sYszxtqXRi6UNe5 WmjE8AX_jWCsjLu883Ygn4B49Lvm9bPe2QeMKQdVeZmXF$9l$4 uCZ8QDXhaHEp3rvzXRJFdy0KqPHLoMevcTLo3h8xh70Y6N_U_C ryOsw6FTOdKL_jpQ-&CONTENTTYPE=image/jpeg

West Virginia receiver Stedman Bailey runs through a drill at the NFL Scouting Combine on Sunday, Feb. 24, 2013, in Indianapolis.

By John Harris
Updated: Tuesday, March 19, 2013

When Steelers general manager Kevin Colbert said we have to find players via free agency and the draft Sunday, I assume he was including the receiver position.

Mike Wallace is gone, and we don't know if the New England Patriots really want Emmanuel Sanders or if they're using the threat of signing him to retain some of their own players.

Let's assume Sanders leaves. Even if he stays, the Steelers need another wideout for depth. They also need someone who can stretch the secondary.

Someone such as West Virginia's Stedman Bailey.

I used to think that Bailey's teammate, Tavon Austin, would be perfect for the Steelers. But Austin is similar in size to Antonio Brown, who signed a $42.5 million contract last year.

Austin believes he's the most talented player in this year's NFL Draft. He could be right. He's a faster version of Wes Welker and a product of the same system; both played slot receiver and were coached by Dana Holgorsen in college. Austin likely will be available when the Steelers select with the No. 17 pick next month.

It's difficult to see the Steelers taking a receiver with their first pick when there are holes at linebacker and the offensive line especially after reports surfaced the Steelers were considering free-agent left tackle Jake Long, who signed with St. Louis.

Bailey projected to be drafted in the second or third round makes more sense. He's not as fast as Austin, but he's bigger and is a more complete receiver who does all the little things the Steelers demand from their wideouts. He even dropped his time in the 40-yard dash from 4.52 at the NFL Scouting Combine in February to 4.48 at West Virginia's Pro Day last week.

What makes Bailey such an attractive prospect? He outplayed some of the top cornerbacks in college football and posted eye-popping statistics while playing for a coach with an excellent track record for sending talented receivers to the pros.

Bailey is the best value pick in the draft, and the best route runner, said Dave-Te' Thomas, who operates Scouting Services Inc. and provides detailed draft analysis for NFL teams, including the Steelers.

Bailey, who left WVU with a year of eligibility remaining, led the country with 25 touchdowns among his 114 receptions in 2012 the third-highest total in NCAA FBS history and broke Michael Crabtree's Big 12 record of 22 touchdown grabs in 2007 (Crabtree, too, was coached by Holgorsen in college). No active college player has reached Bailey's 41 career touchdown grabs.

Stedman's body control, the smoothness which he runs his routes his overall feel for the game is uncanny, said quarterback Geno Smith, who was Bailey's teammate in college and high school. It's something you only see on Sundays.

Bailey diversified his game to include not only receiving skills he was among three finalists for the Biletnikoff Award but also his willingness to excel in less glamorous roles as a defender and blocker on special teams.

Bailey led West Virginia with 10 special teams tackles last season (seven solo), recording at least one stop in eight games. He also finished third in the Big 12 with 1,781 all-purpose yards.

All teams want rookies to come in and play special teams. That's saying a lot about his toughness, said Tony Fleming, Bailey's Florida-based agent.

Hines Ward became respected as much for his blocking as his receiving skills with the Steelers. Bailey is a Ward clone in that regard.

Bailey made two great blocks to free Austin on a long kickoff return against Texas while matching the speedy Austin stride for stride along the sideline. In a 2011 game against LSU, Bailey viciously rocked cornerback Morris Claiborne twice on the same play. Claiborne became so incensed that he retaliated and received a personal foul.

Bailey burned Claiborne with eight receptions for 115 yards and a 20-yard touchdown. Claiborne was the No. 6 overall selection in the 2012 draft.

Bailey's performance against Oklahoma (13 receptions for 205 yards and four touchdowns) may have convinced Sooners All-Big 12 cornerback Aaron Colvin to return for his senior season. Bailey's 13 catches for 303 yards and five touchdowns against Baylor was the best performance in school history and ranks among the best of all time.

Prior to the combine, Fleming hired a receivers coach to prepare Bailey and some of his other clients for what to expect in Indianapolis. It turned out to be new assistant coach Richard Mann before he joined the Steelers.

It's pretty ironic, said Bailey, who met with Mann and coach Mike Tomlin following West Virginia's Pro Day. I felt like the vibe between us was good. He's a down-to-earth, humorous guy who made me laugh. When I worked with Coach Mann, he was searching for a job. Now he's with the Steelers, and I know they need receivers. I'm quite sure he'll remember me.

Bailey's high level of success in his three years at West Virginia will make him difficult to forget.

http://triblive.com/sports/johnharris/3680790-74/bailey-steelers-austin#ixzz2O3Iv2hYv

ZoneBlitzer
03-20-2013, 03:12 AM
I like that white dude as well...Connor something. He had the best hands at the combine.

Hawaii 5-0
03-20-2013, 03:20 AM
I like that white dude as well...Connor something. He had the best hands at the combine.

the white dude you're referring to is WR Conner Vernon from Duke, he's projected by NFLDraftScout to be a 5th round pick.

he has great hands, but ran a 4.68 40-yard dash time which may be too slow for a WR by NFL standards.

http://www.cbssports.com/nfl/draft/prospectrankings/2013/WR

http://cdn.dukechronicle.com/images/large_rect/d0bd36a430a42f0456852d467c18f9ebfdfbd90f.jpg?13618 52472

pete74
03-20-2013, 05:13 AM
I like Bailey alot. I was thinking we might grab him when everyone was talking Austin. He just seems so good to me and I'm shocked he isn't predicted to go lower.
I like your newest mock Hawaii. I can definitely see us taking Brown. If we got Brown, Elam, Bell and Bailey that would seem to be an awesome draft.

wwhickok
03-20-2013, 06:10 AM
I actually do like Baily. As for Connor what are his measurements? Is he a candidate for converting to TE?

Steel_Bus_24
03-20-2013, 06:58 AM
Yep stedman is on my want list.....Dude has a good meanstreak and likes to take on all challenges

ETL
03-20-2013, 08:18 AM
Damn. A article like that may have cost us an earlier round draft pick to secure this guy. Anything that compares someone to Hines Ward will give Steeler fans an instant woody.

teegre
03-20-2013, 08:36 AM
A while back, before Tavon lit up the combine, some mock draft had KC taking Geno at #1, and then Tavon in R2, followed by Stedman in R3. It was an interesting idea: give Geno his weapons (with whom he already has a great rapport).

Vis
03-20-2013, 08:45 AM
the white dude you're referring to is WR Conner Vernon from Duke, he's projected by NFLDraftScout to be a 5th round pick.

he has great hands, but ran a 4.68 40-yard dash time which may be too slow for a WR by NFL standards.

http://www.cbssports.com/nfl/draft/prospectrankings/2013/WR

http://cdn.dukechronicle.com/images/large_rect/d0bd36a430a42f0456852d467c18f9ebfdfbd90f.jpg?13618 52472

Welker ran a 4.61.

teegre
03-20-2013, 08:46 AM
Welker ran a 4.61.

Jerry Rice ran a 4.7.

Vis
03-20-2013, 09:13 AM
So does Vernon have a first move to get separation? We won't take a WR in the first round so we need to be looking at who there down the line.

steelfury02
03-20-2013, 09:26 AM
I really enjoy pro days a lot more than the media circus combine - don't get me wrong - I enjoy seeing the physical capabilities of prospects, but I only see the 40 time significant for LBs in determining how fast they can make a play in open space and chase down / cut them off to the sideline - even then, you have to question urgency in drills v. urgency in an actual game/play situation

EDIT: Watching a highlight video of Bailey v. N.C. State - I'm seeing where this guy separates, makes great sideline plays, and more importantly can out-muscle a defender for the ball and a TD - plus, this guy could be a physical specimen - this would be a great pick. Anyone think he'll last to third round?

ebsteelers
03-20-2013, 11:07 AM
i saw connor play a few times at duke... he looked pretty good for them, seemed to have some good quickness.


again though we have small quick guys we need a big body unless were getting 05 plaxico

wwhickok
03-20-2013, 12:17 PM
So does Vernon have a first move to get separation? We won't take a WR in the first round so we need to be looking at who there down the line.

How sure are you about that?

Vis
03-20-2013, 12:30 PM
How sure are you about that?

I'll bet 20 thanks that we go defense in round one.

PhantomJB93
03-20-2013, 01:05 PM
I'm really not big on Bailey. Only reason I'd even consider Austin is because of his insane speed, cutting ability, and open field running. Nothing about Bailey stands out to me that much and he's almost just as small.

Hawaii 5-0
03-20-2013, 01:50 PM
Nothing about Bailey stands out to me that much and he's almost just as small.

Bailey is only an inch taller at 5'10" but is 20 lbs heavier than Austin.

as for what stood out to me, Bailey finished the season with 106 catches despite playing a couple of games with a sprained ankle that slowed him down. He averaged 120.8 receiving yards per game to finish third in the nation while catching a nation-leading 23 touchdown passes.

Steel_Bus_24
03-20-2013, 01:55 PM
dWww3kR5tH4

Stedman just passes the eye test for me...the dude's a gamer and is going to lay it all of the line. He has fire and a high motor....something that this team has lacked a lot in recent years

kan_t
03-20-2013, 02:49 PM
Damn. A article like that may have cost us an earlier round draft pick to secure this guy. Anything that compares someone to Hines Ward will give Steeler fans an instant woody.
I'm pretty sure NFL teams' draft board won't change because of this kind of article.

Vis
03-20-2013, 03:16 PM
I'm pretty sure NFL teams' draft board won't change because of this kind of article.

Except in Cincy

steel-EERS
03-20-2013, 08:59 PM
believe me I got every game of Stedmans on DVD the last two years, the cat will go over a defender and snatch the ball when he has to, he is agressive when the ball is in the air!!

tmacsteelerfan
03-20-2013, 09:27 PM
Hawaii 5-0's mocks just keep looking better and better. If we could trade down and get 4 names like that, or even with the possibility of staying at 17 and selecting Jarvis Jones or the BPA then selecting Elam, Bell, or Ertz in the 2nd, then Stedman in the 3rd, would be unbelievable. I didn't want to be the first to bring up the Hines Ward comparison, but I had the luxury of watching all of his home games his sophomore and junior season in person, and he has to the ability to compete for Brown's spot in a couple seasons. He is only 5'10 but his ball skills are uncanny for a receiver of his size and if Ben and Stedman can get on the same page together like Geno and Stedman (high school teammates as well) we could possibly even see a deadly goalline route runner and fade receiver.

Here's the blocking we all love to see in our WR's
http://youtu.be/aOnISzeG2Ao?t=3m14s