This is a big mistake.
I previously wrote why Bailey should stay for his senior year, and now I’m going to give two more, bigger reasons why this is a poor decision by the wide receiver.
1. Bailey is not NFL ready.
Stedman Bailey is a good receiver. He’s broken a number of records at WVU and nearly won the Biletnikoff award for being the most outstanding receiver at the college level. However, Bailey is only a second to third round pick. If he sees any playing time at all his rookie year, it will most likely be to return kicks and punts.
The problem with this is that Bailey lacks the speed and quickness to be an NFL caliber return man. He has been used mainly as a possession wide receiver at WVU, and only the second return man to Tavon Austin.
Now, Austin is the kind of player who could step into a return man role in the NFL and do damage. He has the speed and quickness to do that. Bailey does not. Bailey is fast, but not fast enough to make it in the NFL as a return man.
If Bailey hadn’t declared pro early, he may have had a chance at more playing time from the receiver position, and improved his stock enough to earn a solid role on the team.
2. Rumors say Bailey is a daddy.
Please note these are rumors! If Bailey does have a child, I could see why he would want to go pro and make the big bucks to support his kid. However, if he goes now, he could easily bust after a year or two.
The biggest mistake Bailey made comes with this point. If I had a child, as much as I would be tempted to go where the money was immediately, I think the most important thing to me would be my college degree.
By leaving early, Bailey is taking a huge risk, both financially and professionally.
Bailey is undersized for an NFL receiver and is putting all of his chips in on football. Projected mid-third round, Bailey will not be a household name immediately and won’t be given too many chances to shine.
If for some reason Bailey does not get drafted, or has a rough first season and gets cut, he will not have a degree to fall back on. Without a degree, he would be missing out on both money from the NFL and money from his degree.
If he gets the degree, he can still go pro. If that doesn’t work out then, he could still make enough money to support his child.
With only one more year remaining before graduation and possibly a child, I think it would be a no-brainer to put the degree first, but that’s just me.
Bailey didn’t exactly shock Mountaineer nation when he made this decision, but it still seems as though he may be a little bit too eager to head to the big time.