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Don’t forget about Stedman Bailey

02.22.13 at 4:06 pm ET

INDIANAPOLIS — Tavon Austin is getting a lot of attention in the pre-draft process, and rightfully so, but Pats fans shouldn’t be too quick to overlook another West Virginia receiver.

Stedman Bailey‘s measurables don’t jump off the chart — he measured in at 5-foot-10 and 193 pounds — and while he’s taller than Austin, he doesn’t come close to being as fast, yet Bailey has been dominant in college. He led the nation with 25 receiving touchdowns last season and hauled in 114 passes for 1,622 yards last season.

While Austin currently projects to go in the first or second round, Stedman figures to be more of a mid-round guy. He sees himself as versatile when it comes to potentially being used in the slot or on the outside, so while Austin is the flashier option to potentially replace Wes Welker, don’t sleep on Bailey, who can be had later and potentially bring his big numbers to New England.

“Sted is definitely an underrated player,” Austin said Friday of his teammate, “and I think he should be higher than [where he is].”

As for why he’s flying under the radar, Stedman says he feels it’s “definitely” because of his measurables.

“From what I hear, time and time again, ‘He’s only 5-foot-10 and he probably won’t be able to that type of stuff in the NFL against bigger corners’ and stuff like that,” he said. “I feel like if I was 6-foot-3 or 6-foot-2, anywhere over 6-foot, with the numbers I put up I would probably be the No. 1 receiver (in the draft) but that’s not the case. It’s something I can’t control, so I just go with the flow.”

Considering he plays a position that’s been known to have its fair share of divas, Stedman seems more focused on performing well than getting the attention he deserves. He said he plays with a “dog” in him, but he doesn’t mind flying under the radar with fans and the media as long as NFL understand what he has to offer.

“I feel like I deserve the credit that’s due, but there’s a lot of things that I can’t control,” he said. “I don’t boast about it, or I don’t try to argue with anybody about it. I feel like my film work should speak for itself. I put up a lot of good numbers in college, broke a lot of records at West Virginia. If I was anywhere two inches taller, I’d probably be the No. 1 receiver in this draft, but that’s not the case.”

Read More: 2013 combine, 2013 NFL draft, Stedman Bailey,



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