#21 Markus Bailey
Year: Redshirt Senior
High School: Hilliard Davidson (Columbus, OH)
Accolades: 2016-18 Academic All-Big Ten.
Scouting Report: LB Markus Bailey, Purdue
Speed/Athleticism: Markus Bailey is quick and athletic, but I don’t think he has straight line speed. Stops and goes at will, very twitchy and explosive in that way. Doesn’t have multiple gears. Struggles to get turned vertical with a threatening tight end. 13/20.
Strength/Power: Bailey shows excellent power and strength. He’s just a powerful player, and it’s a little intimidating on tape. Devastating power tackler. Size won’t be too much of an issue for him, even if he is a little small by NFL standards for the position. 12/15.
Technique and Mechanics
Tackling/Pursuit: I’m a little bit worried about Bailey’s ability to tackle. While he’s strong and athletic, he whiffs on a lot of open field tackle opportunities. PFF showed that he missed 29 tackles in the last three seasons, and last season had a 19.1% missed tackle rate. That is alarming. Regardless, when he gets a clean lick on somebody, it’s powerful. They don’t forget it. Pursuit might be a part of his tackling problem. Angles are sometimes poor and he seems to struggle to navigate through traffic. 12/20.
Coverage Ability: Bailey is exceptional in coverage. He drops well and plays his zone incredibly well. Subtly drops into his zone without dropping out of the play. Takes away passing lanes. I don’t think Bailey could cover a tight end in man, but he offers a lot of help in a cover two scheme. 15/20.
Pass Rush Ability: Bailey can get after the quarterback, as his 13.5 sacks over the 2017-2018 seasons indicate. His power allows him to be a nuisance against pass blockers. Bailey has the athleticism to stunt effectively, and that is something that Purdue used him for tremendously. 8/10.
Football IQ/Instincts: Great instincts. He’s very smart, and that’s something that the NFL is going to really like. Understands both sides of the football and it’s evident in his play. Plays to his assignments well and shows excellent instincts. 9/10.
Leadership/Personality: Focused and driven individual. I really like his positivity and the way he handles himself with the media. He’s a humble dude and team-oriented. 5/5.
Markus Bailey has struggled through his college career, tearing both ACLs and getting his hip fixed. The hip surgery prevented him from doing anything at the combine other than benching, which was clearly not his best effort. Once you get over the injuries, you have yourself a very smart football player who has his limitations as an athlete but will give you versatility and multiple uses. He’s good in coverage and he’s an excellent pass rusher. He’s already close to his ceiling, unfortunately, and doesn’t have much room to improve. Regardless, he can be a valuable asset to a team as an off-ball pass rusher. I like him as a day three pick.
Injury Rating: (-3)
Ceiling Rating: (2)