Originally posted on Optimum Scouting  |  Last updated 12/17/12
It's been fun to watch this West Virginia offense all season long. Geno Smith has been flat out dominant this season as more and more fans and evaluators realize that he's one of, if not thee, top quarterback prospect for the 2013 NFL Draft. And his Heisman vote-garnering teammate Tavon Austin has developed into a polarizing yet exciting prospect as people evaluate the Mountaineers. But lost in the shuffle, unfortunately and a little unfairly, in the media has been fellow receiver Stedman Bailey, who, according to Mike Casazza, will be declaring for the draft. And he's a legitimate Top 50 prospect in his own right that fans and evaluators should begin to catch-up on.   While Bailey may not have gotten the equal media attention that Smith and Austin received, he's certainly earned high marks and high grades by evaluators. A more NFL ready, developed, and polished receiver prospect than Tavon Austin, he's likely one of the premier speed #2 receivers in this draft, and will be a prospect who can provide an instant playmaker who can play the slot or outside at the NFL level. And interestingly enough, he's already gotten "attention" and a draft grade from someone close to him: his quarterback. Here's what his quarterback Geno Smith had to say about Bailey as a receiver prospect (all via twitter) on December 11th: "To say SB3 is a third round pic is absurd, the guy dominated every corner he lined up against...Once again politics playing a bigger role than production, which in fact robs the guy from well deserved accolades and discredits hard work."   While he went on to make a comment about major media and analyst types that we won't get into, he made his point about Bailey's contribution and his future NFL ceiling. And we here at Optimum Scouting agree. RELATED: 2013 NFL Draft Underclassmen Tracker So what is Bailey's scouting report, at least as of now? Here's what Alex Brown of Optimum Scouting, our lead Big 12/SEC scout who has evaluated a majority of West Virginia's games this year, had to say: "All season long, Stedman Bailey displayed consistently strong, physical hands at the point of the catch, winning short, intermediate and deep, regardless of how many defenders were nearby. Is a very precise and calculated route runner that possesses the fluid hips to get in and out of breaks with ease. On deep post routes and vertical-9 patterns, Bailey was tremendous in attack the cornerback’s technique, winning the positioning battle by stacking over the top of the cornerback and maintaining leverage through the catch point by keeping the corner on his back hip. His speed, surprising physicality and suddenness in and out of breaks, make for a dynamic outside receiver at the NFL level. Dominating Texas cornerback Carrington Byndum in West Virginia’s matchup with the Texas Longhorns, Bailey consistently won off the line with his release, sharp route breaks, and firm hands at the catch point. Bailey put on a slant route clinic, by sticking the corner on his back hip off the line and snatching 4 slants for 3 redzone touchdowns. Following the game, I wrote that, “should he declare, Bailey may end up being drafted in the top two rounds.” A first round selection isn’t entirely out of the question for Bailey, should he test well at the combine. Measuring at or just above 5’10, Bailey’s height should not be held against him, as he still wins at the catch point with strength and physicality." Alex and myself are certainly on the same page as Geno Smith: Stedman Bailey is worth more than a 3rd round pick. He has #2 receiver type talent, big play ability, and is further along in his development than many spread, quicker receivers that declare. Many have jumped on the "Geno Smith" bandwagon this season. And Heisman voters and fans alike grew to enjoy watching Tavon Austin play. But it's time for Stedman Bailey to get his much deserved hype.
GET THE YARDBARKER APP:
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45
MORE FROM YARDBARKER

Dan Quinn says he's never got over the Falcons' Super Bowl LI collapse

Trevor Siemian shoulder injury more severe than originally thought

Former Cub David Ross to appear on ‘Dancing with the Stars’

Julio Jones to be evaluated, may need surgery on injured foot

Report: Cowboys OT Doug Free considering retirement

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

Browns WR Josh Gordon applying for reinstatement

Report: Nerve damage in Jaylon Smith’s leg not improving

James Harden reveals why he stopped dating Khloe Kardashian

Report: Manziel attracting 'real interest' at NFL Combine

Durant suffered sprained MCL, expected back for playoffs

Kaepernick's new agents tell teams QB will be available

Box Score 3/1: It's all about Durant and his knee

The 'Simone Biles vs. Mr. T dance-off you didn't know you wanted until now' quiz

NBA Referee Hotline Bling: Daryl Morey burns up the phone lines

The top 10 MLB left fielders headed into spring training 2017

It's time for Satchel Paige Day in Major League Baseball

The best sports movies available to stream right now

As NHL trade deadline nears, seven teams who could be dealing

Box Score 2/28: Fat Tuesday means athletes on floats.

Biggest surprises and disappointments of the NBA season

Top 10 shortstops in baseball for 2017

The most dangerous NBA teams flying under the radar

Grading the NBA trade deadline on the Vince Carter scale

College Football News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

By clicking "Sign Me Up", you have read and agreed to the Fox Sports Digital Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.
the YARDBARKER app
Get it now!
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45
OPTIMUM SCOUTING

NBA Referee Hotline Bling: Daryl Morey burns up the phone lines

The 'Simone Biles vs. Mr. T dance-off you didn't know you wanted until now' quiz

The top 10 MLB left fielders headed into spring training 2017

QUIZ: Name every MLB pitcher to win 20 or more games in the 1980s

As NHL trade deadline nears, seven teams who could be dealing

It's time for Satchel Paige Day in MLB

The best sports movies available to stream right now

Biggest surprises and disappointments of the NBA season

QUIZ: Name every MLB pitcher to win 20 or more games in a season since 2000

Top 10 shortstops in baseball for 2017

Today's Best Stuff
For Publishers
Company Info
Help
Follow Yardbarker