West Virginia's Stedman Bailey Should Return for His Senior Year

By Mike Atkinson


Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

West Virginia Mountaineers Junior wide receiver Stedman Bailey will soon be making his decision on whether or not to declare for the NFL Draft or return to WVU for his senior year.

Many people think Bailey will jump at the chance to become a professional and take the next step in advancing his football career. The pay isn’t too bad at the professional level either.

Now there are a number of reasons for Bailey to want to go pro early, but I think he should stay, and here’s why.

1. Bailey is currently projected as a third to fourth round selection.

I personally think that any player who is declaring early should only do so if he is projected to be drafted in at least the second round. If not, why wouldn’t you want to improve your draft stock? Returning to school will almost always give a player a better shot of not only being drafted higher, but also having greater success at the next level.

If Bailey plays another year in college, he can improve his draft stock greatly. He will be returning to an offense that has had success under offensive guru Dana Holgorsen.

Bailey has already broken a number of WVU receiving records, and has the potential to break even more if he returns for his senior year. Bailey could very easily make a mark as the greatest receiver to play at WVU.

2. WVU’s graduates leave a lack of weapons for the 2013 offense.

Bailey may be tempted to leave early due to the majority of the offense leaving, but that gives him the opportunity to be a huge playmaker in the new offense. Bailey would be targeted with nearly every reception, giving him the opportunity to rack up a crazy amount of receptions and high yardage totals.

Look at how good Bailey has been in his career thus far at WVU. This was with him competing for receptions with Tavon Austin, a player who many believe to be one of the top five players in college football.

Imagine what Bailey could do if he were the clear cut number one receiver.

Bailey may already be halfway out the door, but I think he’s making a mistake.

Follow Mike on Twitter at @MikeAtkinsonRS or visit his Rant Sports Author Page.

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