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NFL Draft

2021 NFL Draft Scouting Report: EDGE JaQuan Bailey

  • The Draft Network
  • February 4, 2021
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JaQuan Bailey had periods where he was allowed to drop into coverage when on the boundary side (short side), but he looked clunky in space. When attempting to change directions as a spot dropper, he experienced some difficulties and looked uncomfortable when doing so. Bailey plays mostly with his hand in the dirt. His natural power and strength at the point of attack are evident. Playing in a bit of an unconventional way as an edge rusher, he relies mostly on creating penetration up the field as quickly as possible. He displays adequate hand strength and he can be difficult to deal with for blockers.

Overall, Bailey’s pass rush plans need lots of diversity. He can become a bit out of control and as a result, he confuses himself with which plan of attack he wants to execute. His plans turn into a combination of a lot of various type moves which resulted in lots of wasted motion. Attacking down the middle of blockers has been a constant problem, which made it easy for offensive tackles to match and mirror his initial movements all the way through his entire rush process.

Ideal Role: Developmental 3-4 outside linebacker that will need time on the practice squad or outside league to develop.

Scheme Fit: 3-4 outside linebacker.


Written by Jordan Reid

Games watched: West Virginia (2020), Texas (2020), TCU (2020), Texas Tech (2020), Kansas (2020)

Best Game Studied: TCU (2020)

Worst Game Studied: Texas Tech (2020)

First-Step Explosiveness: A bit of a clunky mover off of the snap, Bailey doesn’t show to have much explosiveness off of his initial movements. He instead is a momentum mover who wants to collect steps up the field while his speed increases with a greater pace.  

Flexibility: Bailey plays with high pad levels, but his strength has been able to mask his disposition at times. Not playing with adequate bend and a high pad level have routinely made him a big target for blockers to land their hands on. Using all upper body in his rush moves, he hopes to eventually create wins over time with long hand fights. Aiming for his strength to eventually settle in, that’s a frequent plan of attack for him.

Hand Counters: Turning into a trial and error rusher throughout games, he isn’t shy about attempting to execute new moves within games. There are some games where they are effective and he continues to use them while there are other contests where Bailey is out of control and all over the place because of the over experimentation with some techniques. 

Length: Bailey has a stacked frame from top to bottom and looks to be a bit heavier than listed. With minimal capacity to add onto his frame, he has a maxed-out body composition that includes adequate length. He uses his natural power as an added advantage to help out his deficiencies with consistently using his length. 

Hand Power: When able to land in desired locations, Bailey has the power necessary to dislodge and move blockers off of their spots. When engaged there are some glimpses of blockers' heads snapping back, which indicates that there’s some pop in his hands. 

Run Defending: Able to hold firm at the point of attack, he’s a consistent run defender that is able to maintain his spots. There’s hardly ever a sense of him being unaware of concepts that are happening. He shows to have an understanding of how to pin the edge, but also be physical when pullers are in his vicinity. 

Effort/Motor: More often than not, Bailey shows to be a try-hard player, even if everything that he’s attempting to execute isn’t always effective. There’s plenty of wasted motion in his rush plans and at the point of attack, but his effort has always remained steady. Eliminating that wasted motion and turning it into consistently effective movements that can impact offenses negatively is the next phase of his development that he could unlock with proper coaching.

Football IQ: Having a wealth of experience, there weren’t many looks that Bailey didn’t see. That carried over from a down-to-down basis, as he displayed a well-developed understanding and awareness of concepts happening in both the passing and running game. Processing and attacking ability were above average, but his lack of consistent twitch to match made it seem as if his timing with seeing them was a bit delayed. 

Lateral Mobility: Bailey has plays where he’s able to chase down plays from the backside. Also consistent with keeping his shoulders square at the line, he’s been a consistent player when faced with zone-read concepts. 

Versatility: Bailey has operated previously from both positions as a stand-up outside linebacker and with his hand in the dirt as a rush end. He’s also been able to gain experience in coverage, which can be an adventure for him. When used as a spot dropper in space, he looks uncomfortable due to his lack of reps performing it. The concepts of covering routes and occupying space on the perimeter is an area of the game that will take lots of patience. 


TDN Consensus: To Be Determined

Jordan Reid: 69/100

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