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Dion Bailey, S, USC

 
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nicfre2011


Joined: 15 Mar 2011
Posts: 6560
Location: SC
PostPosted: Thu Feb 20, 2014 9:41 am    Post subject: Dion Bailey, S, USC Reply with quote


Dion Bailey
Position : SS
College : USC Trojans
Class : Junior
Height : 6’-0”
Weight : 200 lbs.
40 yard dash : 4.52 (approximate)

Dion Bailey USC Trojans Official Bio

Quote:
2013 Statistics (14 games played)
Solo tackles : 44
Assisted tackles : 18
Total tackles : 62
Tackles for loss : 6.5
Tackles for loss yardage : 16
Sacks : 0.5
Sack loss yardage : 3
Interceptions: 5
Interception return yardage : 26
Passes broken up : 6
Forced fumbles : 1

2012 Statistics (13 games played)
Solo tackles : 49
Assisted tackles : 31
Total tackles : 80
Tackles for loss : 8.0
Tackles for loss yardage : 25
Sacks : 1.0
Sack loss yardage : 5
Interceptions: 4
Interception return yardage : 4
Passes broken up : 5
Forced fumbles : 1

2011 Statistics (13 games played)
Solo tackles : 48
Assisted tackles : 33
Total tackles : 81
Tackles for loss : 2.0
Tackles for loss yardage : 6
Sacks : 2.0
Sack loss yardage : 6
Interceptions: 2
Interception return yardage : 16
Passes broken up : 2
Forced fumbles : 1


Quote:
In college football, where there can be such drastic changes in offensive philosophies from opponent to opponent in a season, some tweeners and hybrid players have developed into outstanding defensive weapons. One of these players is Dion Bailey from USC. Bailey has played linebacker as well as safety and in his junior season, he played a hybrid of the two quite a bit.

His versatility made him valuable for when opponents tried to spread USC’s defense out while having the ability to slide inside and play against the run. The combination of athleticism, understanding of the position and a knack for making plays made him an extremely valuable component to the Trojan defense, which powered USC to a late season surge.

Projecting toward the NFL, Bailey has an intriguing skillset that makes him viable at a few different spots depending on the situations, but with some questions still to be answered. Bailey excels playing in the box and is most comfortable when he is able to run with opponents in coverage and able to play underneath. He has shown an impressive amount of closing speed and great hands to make plays and is a threat to cause turnovers. The questions Bailey faces are how well he can play on the back end, his relative lack of experience playing over the top and in zone. He has rarely been put in a position where he was the last line of defense. Bailey’s unique skillset and viability to play on every down as well as on special teams makes it so he warrants a top 100 pick, but a team could end up taking him in the second round due to his unique ability to contribute in basically every situation in the right scheme.

Vitals & Build
Bailey is listed at 6’ 200lbs but seems to play a little bit bigger than his size. He has adequate but not overwhelming strength. His agility, fluidity and body control is impressive and his speed is good for the position. Bailey has the frame to continue adding strength without losing any athletic ability but depending on where he ends up going as well as where they have him playing, how big he decides to get could be dramatically different.

Tackling
Bailey is pretty good at consistently wrapping up on contact. The notable exception is when he thinks he is sort of pile jumping or finishing a play when he will go with a shoulder. He has shown he can do a nice job of breaking down and he has the lateral ability to slide and react to opponents to keep them in front of him. Bailey does need to do a better job of driving his legs on contact so he can show a little more pop, but he gets the job done and is pretty reliable. He can continue to get stronger and get better with using power, but especially if he is put on the back line, he should be good about not giving up the big play.

Run Support
Bailey is active and will help against the run. On obvious running downs, he is far better suited to play as a safety than a linebacker, but he is comfortable in the box. He has the athleticism and speed to cover a lot of ground.
Bailey’s vision and ability to read and see the field can vary quite a bit from play to play. At times, he seems to have a great feel for where things are going, sees how the play is developing and is able to react accordingly. There are also a number of examples where he is late or completely lost on where the play is going.

His angles can improve and part of that is how he tends to try to take wide angles to try to avoid blocks. At times, this has Bailey take himself out of the play entirely or create a running lane behind him.
The fact that he does show the potential to be able to read and react at the second level should make it so if he does move back a level, he should be able to really excel in his ability to see the field and react quickly; being accustomed to having to do it so fast at the linebacker level should make it far easier to do it on the back end.

Coverage
Bailey is most commonly used in man coverage. He has experience playing against tight ends, running backs and wide receivers in the slot. Bailey has shown he can be effective against all three, but he is at his best when he is able to play underneath. He has fluid hips and the ability to plant and react with opponents, but especially with tight ends, he is a playmaker when he is playing like a linebacker and has help over the top. Bailey’s burst and recovery speed is impressive and has caught several opponents by surprise thinking he was out of range to make a play only to be intercepted.
Bailey has some experience in zone, but he is still at the second level. He gets to his drops quickly and can backpedal to his spots well. Bailey has the quickness and burst to break on the ball well but he is not as comfortable as he is in man.

The question for Bailey is, in the event, he is playing on the back end, how well can he play in zone and play over the top. It is not something he has really been asked to do. His athleticism suggests he should be able to do a solid job in that respect, but there is little evidence actually showing it.

Ball Skills
Bailey has good ball skills and is really comfortable catching the ball with his hands. He makes it look easy for the most part. Not only does he catch the ball well, he does a nice job of putting his body in position to where he can shield the opponent out and makes it so he is the only one who can make a play on the football.

Bailey punishes opponents who are not careful with throwing the ball around him. His athleticism also makes it so he can be a threat after he secures the interception.

Special Teams
Bailey’s size and athletic ability make him ideal for coverage units on special teams. For both kickoff and punt, he should able to excel on both units early.

System Fit
The best fit for Bailey is with a team that plays a ton of man coverage and wants an in the box safety on running downs. He can become a tremendous option as a nickel linebacker on passing downs, but has to work to make sure he is not exposing the defense to runs there.

Bailey has the skills to play on the back end, but he has to actually show it. Nothing about his athleticism limits him to playing in the box. That just happens to be where he has played virtually his entire college career.
Bailey should also be a valuable asset on special teams. He could start his career as a nickel and sub package player as well as a weapon on special teams, but he certainly has the potential to start once he gets comfortable and has the upside to end up as a player that basically never leaves the field.

NFL Comparison
Bailey’s skillset could make him comparable to Aaron Williams of the Buffalo Bills. Williams was a former corner out of Texas that the Bills moved to strong safety, but has the man cover skills that give him an added dimension on the back end. Bailey is coming from a different spot likely to the strong safety position, but also has an added element in his ability to play man coverage that could make him a good option.

Draft Projection
Dion Bailey has been a big cog in the USC defense and his breeding and development makes him an intriguing player for the NFL. He could be a strong safety on running downs and then switch to a nickel coverage spot or linebacker to give a team an added element of athleticism as well as cater to Bailey’s ability to play underneath. There are questions that remain to be answered as to how well he can transition to the back end, but he demonstrates the skills needed to do it and just has to show it. Bailey projects as a top 100 pick based on just how much he can potentially do for a team, but it is not out of the question a team could take him at the end of the second round with the thought process that he will never leave the field.
Some of the film used for this scouting breakdown was provided by the good folks at draftbreakdown.com

http://withthefirstpick.com/2014/02/20/2014-nfl-draft-scouting-report-dion-bailey-s-usc/







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nicfre2011


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PostPosted: Thu Feb 20, 2014 10:20 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Chiefer and I have had some discussions about Bailey and the more I look into him, the more I see an Eric Berry-lite prospect when you consider the current role Berry plays in our defense as essentially an in-the-box type of safety and additional linebacker. I have made it clear that I definitely think Eric Berry would make much more of an impact overall by moving to free safety and handling more centerfielder-type of coverage assignments. If the coaching staff is determined to have a player from the secondary closer to the line of scrimmage, I think Dion Bailey would definitely fit the fill as such a prospect that could develop into a very solid player in that role.

IMO moving Berry to free safety would not only allow him to make more of an impact but also help to turn into a strength what has been arguably one of our biggest weaknesses on defense.
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chiefs82


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PostPosted: Thu Feb 20, 2014 11:07 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I like Bailey. Former LB, nose for the ball, and versatile. I think you're right nic, he's more of a SS than a FS...it'll be interesting to see if the coaching staff does/would move Berry to FS
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nicfre2011


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PostPosted: Thu Feb 20, 2014 11:41 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

chiefs82 wrote:
I like Bailey. Former LB, nose for the ball, and versatile. I think you're right nic, he's more of a SS than a FS...it'll be interesting to see if the coaching staff does/would move Berry to FS


My gut tells me our coaching staff will likely keep Berry in his current role and look to re-sign Abdullah or Demps to play free safety. They might even look to move Commings to free safety although I would prefer giving him every opportunity to play cornerback before making the transition.

The issue I see with Bailey is I don't think he would be a plug-and-play in Berry's current role. I believe it is going to take some time for Bailey to get comfortable at the NFL level and add some functional bulk to handle that type of role. I don't see him being ready right out of the gate to start from Day 1 without some big bumps in the road. I also don't see him as being plug-and-play at free safety largely because his role at USC didn't involve much in the way of deep coverage assignments. I am not saying he couldn't develop in that role, but I think it will take some time.

Now, if we can sign a free agent safety that can play more of a dual role as our strong safety (example Danieal Manning if he is released by the Texans) as a stop-gap, we could draft Bailey with the idea that he would eventually slide into the strong safety role as Eric Berry plays now. This would allow us to move Berry to free safety and not rely on a rookie like Bailey from Day 1. I see someone like Manning giving us the flexibility of keeping Berry in his current role (again, I am not big on this) and have Manning play more of a deep coverage role. Manning has the versatility to give us multiple coverage and assignment options. If anything, Manning and Berry could occasionally swap roles depending on the offensive look we are facing.
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jshowers


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PostPosted: Wed Apr 16, 2014 4:37 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

This is the safety prospect people should be hyping. He's on par with Kenny Vacarro as a hybrid box/Cover 2 safety. Won't go anywhere near where Vacarro did though.
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kingseanjohn


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PostPosted: Wed Apr 16, 2014 6:53 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I like the guy. I'm hoping he's there in the 3rd but I really can't figure out where he'll go. He'd be great next to Berry with both being able to cover and also do the in the box assignment. Would definitely help us disguise coverage a little more.
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Chiefer


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PostPosted: Sun Apr 20, 2014 2:18 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Always bet on defensive backs named Dion... Cool
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Victor1124


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PostPosted: Sun Apr 20, 2014 7:32 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

If Berry can make the switch to free safety this guy would be the perfect SS. He is a great tackler and has good instincts.
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samsel23


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PostPosted: Mon Apr 21, 2014 2:01 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

He's really growing on me lately. Berry, Commings, Abdullah, and Dion would be one of the more talented/versatile safety groups in the NFL.
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Victor1124


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PostPosted: Mon Apr 21, 2014 2:10 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

My only problem is I don't see Berry transitioning to the free safety role as easy as some make it seem on here.
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