Overall: Dion Bailey played both linebacker and safety for the USC Trojans in his career. The 5’11” 201lbs. Bailey, however, is clearly a safety at the NFL level due to size limitations.
Dion Bailey was a proven playmaker in the Pac-12. He had 11 interceptions in his collegiate career, including 5 in the 2013 season. Yet, NFL.com notes that Bailey lacks top-end speed to match up with slot receivers in coverage. Despite experience playing outside linebacker, Bailey is not a physical tackler. CBSSports.com expresses concern that he “falls off too many tackles“. Though they also point out that Bailey is an unselfish player that will blow up blockers to allow other defenders to make tackles.
Given his coverage shortcomings, Bailey’s best NFL fit is likely to be as a LB/S hybrid in sub-packages due to his good instincts and ball-hawking skills. He’d be great at jumping short routes and crossing patterns.
40 yd Dash: 4.66
Vertical: 34 in
Broad: 9′ 5″
combine results from CBSSports.com
Draft Projection: Both ESPN.com and CBSSports.com project Bailey to go late in the 4th round, while NFL.com projects him in the 5th or 6th round. Due to Bailey’s athletic limitations and his mediocre tackling, I see him as more of a good sub package player in a hybrid LB/S role in the NFL rather than starting safety.
In particular, Bailey will have to possess outstanding instincts to be effective as a single high safety in the NFL. I think he might be a nice pickup for the Chiefs in the 5th round., but I would want to add a better coverage guy if the team does not address the free safety position in free agency.
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What about the rest of the Kingdom? Would Dion Bailey be a good pick if the Chiefs could get him in the 5th round? Make sure to leave your comments below.