With the 215th overall pick in the 2020 NFL Draft, the Cincinnati Bengals have selected Purdue Boilermakers linebacker Markus Bailey.
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
The best players still available.
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