The Cincinnati Bengals add a third player to their linebacker core, this time in the form of Markus Bailey. Here, we give our instant grade and analysis.
The Cincinnati Bengals have completely revamped their linebacker unit through the 2020 draft. In the 7th round, the team dipped into the position group for the third time to select Markus Bailey out of Purdue.
In his best season, Bailey racked up 115 tackles and 5.5 sacks. The first thing that comes to the forefront in his scouting reports is his mental processing. He clearly has a high football IQ, something that has been a trend in this year’s Bengals draft class.
Bengals fans have to be excited about analyst Daniel Jeremiah’s statements about the Purdue standout. He called it a potential home run pick and that his tape was second-round worthy. It was only his injury history that caused him to fall this far.
Hunter Bittinger Grade: A-
In the 7th round, this is a really solid pick. Bailey will be able to come in right away and contribute on special teams as he attempts to carve out a larger role.
His intelligence and toughness are going to make him a fan favorite in Cincinnati, as he’ll give them effort plays all day long.
I love that the Bengals didn’t draft a position just because they have a need somewhere. They probably viewed Bailey as the best prospect still remaining and went out to get their guy.
He has a concerning medical history but the team clearly felt comfortable enough spending the selection on him. This unit looks completely different from just three days ago. The position room is now bursting with athleticism, leadership, talent, and youth.
Aaron Burd Grade: A
Big fan of adding Markus Bailey to a linebacker room that has been completely overhauled this season. Bailey was one of the best players on the board and will likely make the final 53 man roster.
Very productive and versatile in college, the Purdue linebacker is the perfect player to top off what has been possibly the best Bengals draft in years.
The only red flag is knee-related injury concerns, but in the seventh round, you can take that risk.
Blake Jewell Grade: B+
Talk about value. The Bengals add their third linebacker and even more depth to their defense. Bailey would have been selected much higher had he not been injured, so this could be a steal. The former Purdue linebacker has great football IQ and is a hard-nosed and effective tackler. The Bengals cap off their great draft with a nice seventh-round selection.