Stedman Bailey was one of the most productive college receivers in his draft class. Even though he was able to produce at a ridiculously high level in college, he fell to the St. Louis Rams in the third round. After many attempts to build a solid receiving corps, St. Louis might have found a gem that was overlooked by many teams.
Maybe it was because he is only 5-foot-10 or the fact that he doesn’t possess elite speed that caused him to drop down into the middle rounds of the draft. After making 114 catches in his senior season of college, Bailey didn’t make his first NFL catch until Week 9. He has seen most of his offensive snaps on the practice field, and most of his in game experience has been on special teams, where he excelled on punt coverage.
Rams punter Johnny Hekker can thank Bailey for helping his All-Pro punting stats this year.
Finally, he is getting his chances on offense for the Rams. The key to his sudden increase in playing time has been his dedication to perfecting his art. Bailey’s hands are probably the most reliable on this Ram’s team that has had its share of dropped catches. He clearly understood that he needed to prove himself to the coaching staff. It has to be a good feeling for the young receiver to get recognized for his hard work and dedication.
His eight catches for 123 yards is not anything to be over exhilarated about, but is something for him to build on in the last three games. As teammate Clemens said when recently asked about Bailey, he will be playing in this league for a long time and he puts in the work to be a valuable asset to the Rams.