West Virginia WR Stedman Bailey Will Declare for NFL Draft After Pinstripe Bowl

Patrick ClarkeCorrespondent IDecember 17, 2012

West Virginia junior Stedman Bailey plans to declare for the 2013 NFL draft following the team's Pinstripe Bowl game, according to head coach Dana Holgorsen. 

Charleston Daily Mail's Mike Casazza has the latest:

Dana Holgorsen says redshirt junior receiver Stedman Bailey will go pro following the Pinstripe Bowl.

— Mike Casazza (@mikecasazza) December 17, 2012

Bailey led the Mountaineers in receiving yards (1,501) and receiving touchdowns (23) this past season, reeling in 106 passes through the team's first 12 games. Bailey also led West Virginia in receiving yards and touchdowns as a sophomore in 2011.

At 5'11", 190 pounds, the Miramar, Fla., native boasts a superb set of hands and is an extremely good route-runner. ESPN's draft scouts (subscription required) rank Bailey as the 14th-best wide receiver coming out of college this year.

If NFL teams agree, then Bailey will most likely come off the board sometime in the fourth round. 

His biggest downfall could be that he lacks the size and strength that NFL coaches and general managers look for in a prospect. But neither speed nor durability is an issue for Bailey.

He has avoided serious injuries and has played in all 38 of West Virginia's games since 2010. He has also been one of the most competitive wideouts in college football, going across the middle without hesitation and making catches in traffic and sometimes while absorbing contact.

Plus, only Baylor's Terrance Williams and USC's Marqise Lee averaged more receiving yards per game than Bailey (125.1) this past season, and no player in college football caught more touchdown passes than Bailey, who reeled in seven more than the next leading receiver, Clemson's DeAndre Hopkins.

There's no doubt that Bailey could benefit from another season in Morgantown, but it's difficult to knock a player with numbers like his. 

The Scouting Combine is set for Feb. 20-26 in Indianapolis, and the 2013 NFL draft is scheduled for April 25-27 in New York.

 

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