Bailey Makes it Two for St. Louis
By John Antonik for WVUsports.com
April 26, 2013 10:42 PM
If you are the St. Louis Rams and you are looking for some playmaking wide receivers for quarterback Sam Bradford, why not go to West Virginia?
Yesterday, the Rams traded up eight spots in the first round to draft Tavon Austin with the eighth overall pick, and now tonight, St. Louis selected Austin’s teammate Stedman Bailey with the 92nd overall pick in the third round.
“We had them on the board based on their grades, not based on what school they attended,” said St. Louis coach Jeff Fisher on the team's website. “(Bailey) was up there, he was high and it was a great opportunity for us ... what we’ve done now is fill a couple spots out there and we are going to lobby with the league to see if we can play with more than one ball because we think we are going to need more than one ball.”
“Hearing the quarterbacks say this guy is 5-11, whatever, but it’s like throwing to a 6-3 guy, he goes up and gets the ball,” added Rams general manager Les Snead. “I think that private workout (in Morgantown) really helped solidify that pick.”
What the Rams are getting in Bailey is one of the most productive wide receivers in college football. Bailey, who opted to leave WVU a year early, caught 114 passes for 1,622 yards and an NCAA best 25 touchdowns. In 2012, Bailey had seven games of more than 100 yards receiving, including exceeding 200 yards. In a 70-63 win over Baylor, Bailey caught 13 passes for 303 yards and five touchdowns against the Bears, while also having monster games against Oklahoma State and Oklahoma.
The tandem of Austin and Bailey combined to produce 488 catches for 6,631 yards and 70 touchdowns for the Mountaineers – most of those coming during the last two seasons under coach Dana Holgorsen.
Last year as a sophomore, Bailey broke onto the scene with 72 catches for 1,279 yards and 12 touchdowns. Bailey was a finalist for the Biletnikoff Award as college football’s top receiver while adding All-America honors from CBS Sports, Associated Press, Walter Camp Foundation and Fox Sports.
“We are both very dynamic football players,” Bailey said. “Tavon is very elusive. You can use Tavon in quite a few different ways and that’s what makes him such a dynamic player.. Me, I’m more of a receiver that can line up on the outside. I can get in the slot and work. I’m definitely a guy that can get on special teams. We are both hard working guys that have different ways of playing.”
With the choices of Austin, quarterback Geno Smith at No. 39 in the second round and Bailey at 92 in the third round, that gives West Virginia three top 100 players in the NFL draft for the first time since 2000 when tight end Anthony Becht (27), wide receiver Jerry Porter (47) and linebacker Barrett Green (50) went in the top three rounds. It is also the first time since 2000 that West Virginia has had three offensive players selected in the same draft. Quarterback Marc Bulger was a sixth round choice that year by the New Orleans Saints.
The Mountaineers could have a fourth offensive player if center Joe Madsen is picked tomorrow when the draft wraps up with rounds four through seven.
West Virginia’s NFL Draft Picks Since 2000
2013, Tavon Austin, WR (1st) St. Louis Rams
2013, Geno Smith, QB (2nd) New York Jets
2013, Stedman Bailey, WR (3rd) St. Louis Rams
2012, Bruce Irvin, DE (1st) Seattle Seahawks
2012, Najee Goode, LB (5th) Tampa Bay Buccaneers
2012, Keith Tandy, CB (6th) Tampa Bay Buccaneers
2011, Brandon Hogan, CB (3rd) Carolina Panthers
2011, Robert Sands, S (5th) Cincinnati Bengals
2011, J.T. Thomas, LB (6th) Chicago Bears
2011, Chris Neild, NT (7th) Washington Redskins
2010, Selvish Capers, T (7th) Washington Redskins
2009, Pat White, QB (2nd) Miami Dolphins
2009, Ellis Lankster, CB (7th) Buffalo Bills
2009, Pat McAfee, P (7th) Indianapolis Colts
2008, Steve Slaton, RB (3rd) Houston Texans
2008, Owen Schmitt, FB (5th) Seattle Seahawks
2008, Ryan Mundy, S (6th) Pittsburgh Steelers
2006, Dee McCann, S (6th) Detroit Lions
2005, Pacman Jones, CB (1st) Tennessee Titans
2005, Chris Henry, WR (3rd) Cincinnati Bengals
2005, Rasheed Marshall, WR (5th) San Francisco 49ers
2004, Quincy Wilson, RB (7th) Atlanta Falcons
2003, Lance Nimmo, T (4th) Tampa Bay Buccaneers
2003, James Davis, LB (5th) Detroit Lions
2000, Anthony Becht, TE (1st) New York Jets
2000, Jerry Porter, WR (2nd) Oakland Raiders
2000, Barrett Green, LB (2nd) Detroit Lions
2000, Marc Bulger, QB (6th) New Orleans Saints
St. Louis Rams
West Virginia Mountaineers