After addressing all of the biggest needs in the first six rounds, just about every position was an option with the Bengals’ final pick. They opted to take a third linebacker to help shore up what’s easily been one of the team’s biggest weaknesses in recent years.
Last time the #Bengals took 3 LBs in same draft was 98.— Jay Morrison (@JayMorrisonATH) April 25, 2020
Takeo Spikes first round
Brian Simmons first round
Steve Foley third round
The 6-0, 235-pound Bailey is a little undersized for an NFL linebacker, which is part of why he lasted until the final round of the draft, though not for a lack of production. He led Purdue with 97 tackles to go with six tackles for loss and four interceptions as a redshirt freshman, then went for 89 tackles (team high), 11 tackles for loss, seven sacks and one interception as a sophomore.
Bailey’s best season came as a junior in 2018 when he went for a team-high 115 tackles, nine tackles for loss, 5.5 sacks and one interception.
Unfortunately, Bailey’s senior season ended after just four games due to a torn right ACL. He recorded 14 tackles, two tackles for loss and one sack in four starts. He also tore his left ACL as a true freshman in 2015, so the injury concerns also likely helped him slide into Round 7.
During ESPN’s broadcast of the draft, draft expert Daniel Jeremiah said Bailey looks like a second-round prospect on film and could be a home-run pick for the Bengals if he just stays healthy.
Bailey was given a 5.99 grade and Round 6 projection by NFL.com, so another solid value pick for Cincinnati.
The Bengals’ remaining top draft needs are:
TE, CB, OL
Bengals Draft Picks 2020
- Round 1 (1) - Joe Burrow, QB, LSU
- Round 2 (33) - Tee Higgins, WR, Clemson
- Round 3 (65) - Logan Wilson, LB, Wyoming
- Round 4 (107) - Akeem Davis-Gaither, LB, Appalachian State
- Round 5 (147) Khalid Kareem, DE, Notre Dame
- Round 6 (180) Hakeem Adeniji, OL, Kansas
- Round 7 (215)
Day 3 NFL Draft schedule: 12 p.m. ET, Saturday, April 25