Draft Prospect Profile | Edge Markus Bailey, Purdue
Weight: 240 pounds
Class: Fifth year
Columbus, Ohio native and Purdue outside linebacker Markus Bailey is entering the NFL Draft this April after a five-year career with the Boilermakers.
Arriving at Purdue in 2016 as a freshman, Bailey appeared in three-games before injuring his knee and missing the rest of the season.
As a sophomore in 2017 coming off the injury, Bailey started all 13 games and was second on the team with 89 tackles. He also recorded 11 tackles for a loss, seven sacks, and an interception.
After an impressive first year as a starter, Bailey led his team with 115 tackles and 5.5 sacks. Bailey’s junior season saw him finish second on the Boilermakers with nine tackles for a loss while recording his first career pick-six against number two ranked Ohio State. Bailey was named to the Second-Team All-Big Ten list by the coaches.
In 2019, Bailey appeared in only two games before suffering a knee injury, which kept him out the remainder of the season. For Bailey, this was the second time during his college career that he suffered a season-ending knee injury.
He underwent surgery in October and announced he was focused on getting ready for the 2020 NFL Draft. But certainly, questions about his medical are going to be front and center regarding where his draft value falls.
While at Purdue, Bailey was named to the All-Academic Big Ten list from 2016-2018. He was also a semi-finalist for the Campbell Trophy as the nation’s top student-athlete last year despite only appearing in two games.
According to The Draft Network, Bailey has a significantly high football IQ and is the type of linebacker who bursts through holes to fill and make plays in the backfield as a “fearless,” tackler.
He also showcased various leadership qualities as a co-captain of Purdue’s defense and has been described as one of the most mentally tough players coming out for the draft.
As far as his coverage ability is concerned, he typically handled underneath routes and is not a player who will excel in man-to-man coverage. His lateral range is also graded as average.
Bailey is a solid football player, but The Draft Network believes he will be an early-down linebacker who lives in the second level of the defense. His anticipation skills allow him to close in on routes, combined with his football IQ will enable him to defend zone coverage at a high level.
Bailey is currently projected as a Day 3 pick who could potentially go undrafted. The expectation is that he will wind up on an NFL roster in the spring and will be fighting for a roster spot this upcoming summer.
Why He's a Fit
As the Giant just cut two linebackers in Alec Ogletree and Kareem Martin, they will be looking to replenish this second level corps, which has been lacking for several years.
If Bailey is still available in the late rounds on Day 3 or in the undrafted pool, Dave Gettleman and the Giants' front office could take a chance on him if his medicals check out.
As previously noted, Bailey is known for his competitive toughness and football acumen, and one can never have too many of those players on the roster, regardless of where they play. Those very same traits are believed to fit the bill for new head coach Joe Judge and the mantra he's brought to the Giants.