The New England Patriots traded up to take Stanford punter in Round 5 of the 2019 NFL Draft.
Why? Because he can kick the heck out of the ball.
No play sums up Baileys skill set more than this kick from the 2019 season, in which he punted a ball from his own 16-yard line to just into the endzone -- and 84-yard boot.
The play is Bailey in a nutshell. It showcased world-class leg strength that can flip the field on teams. But it also showed that power can be a little too much, resulting in touchbacks. (Still, the kick resulted in a net change of 64 yards with no return).
Weight: 200 pounds
40-yard dash: 4.72 seconds
- Tremendour leg strength
- Good athlete, especially as a punter
- Powerful kickoff specialist
- Sometimes doesn’t reign in his leg strength
- Too many touchbacks
The Bailey pick was surprising for a number of reasons:
- It involved the Patriots trading up to take a punter in the fifth round (a weird choice in itself.
- Bailey is right-footed. Most punters under Bill Belichick have been left-footed.
- The Patriots already have a starting punter in Ryan Allen, who had a tremendous performance in Super Bowl LIII.
In terms of raw kicking power, Bailey is likely an upgrade over Allen. Then again, so was undrafted punter Corey Bojorquez last season.
The biggest factor for Bailey is whether he can show accuracy and touch in his kicks in the NFL. He’ll have ample opportunity to try and prove them during offseason workouts and training camp.
Bailey’s biggest value, though, may be on kickoffs, where his huge leg can be put to full use.
While Stephen Gostkowski has been good on kickoffs, he is getting up there in age. Bailey may provide the Patriots a chance to upgrade hangtime and distance on kickoffs, which may be a factor considering the team struggled to cover kicks in the early parts of 2018.
by Nick O'Malley