With Mike Wallace all but gone from the Steelers and Antonio Brown seemingly creating locker room problems, the Steelers’ receivers are falling apart. With little to no cap room, it’s doubtful that they will test the waters of free agency. And with bigger needs to worry about, they won’t be taking a guy in the top two rounds. But when it comes time for the Steelers to pick up a wide receiver, a great one might still be left on the board. Stedman Bailey.
I’ve personally watched Stedman Bailey grow into WVU’s greatest receiver of all time. And even though he was snubbed in this year’s Bilitnikoff Award, he was the best receiver in college football this season. He caught 106 passes for 1,501 yards and 23 touchdowns, the third most EVER in division 1. Not to mention, he was hurt for part of the season. Also not to mention, he had Tavon Austin getting his numbers also. Bailey is one of the biggest reasons why his quarterback, Geno Smith, is being considered for the top pick in this year’s draft.
Smith and Bailey are like peanut butter and jelly. They’ve been playing ball together since middle school. They both played together at Miramar High School in Florida and when Smith got offered at WVU, Bailey came with him. Almost like a package deal. The two of them have since turned WVU and the NCAA upside down. They both exploded onto the scene this year and never looked back.
Bailey would be a great fit for the Steelers. He has great work ethic. Every morning he tweets about getting up and putting in work first thing in the morning. Another great thing about Bailey is that he has great hands. He catches tough balls and makes it seem like it just comes natural, sort of Marvin Harrison-esque. He hardly ever drops a pass. The best thing about him, in my opinion, is that he’s strong and physical. He can just stiff arm a guy to ground, break a tackle and keep on going.
I’m sure Pitt fans remember this play (sorry guys).
This video brings up another point: route running. Bailey runs routes just as smooth as can be. He can beat man coverage, just like he did there, or he can settle in an open area against the zone. He knows where to go to get the ball and when he does, he makes plays.
He doesn’t have fantastic speed like Wallace, but he’s a threat. During this off-season he’s drawn comparisons to Steve Smith of the Carolina Panthers. Most NFL fans can agree that Smith is one of the toughest receivers on the field. Nicknamed “Mighty Mouse” by some players, he fights for every yard he gets. Bailey is smaller than most NFL-caliber receivers but that’s never stopped him before and it won’t stop him in the NFL. One good thing about Bailey though, he doesn’t come with the attitude that Smith does.
If Bailey is still lingering around in the third or fourth round, the Steelers should not pass him up.
Photo Credit: BleacherReport.com