After spending two seasons as an undersized but highly effective linebacker, USC suggested that Dion Bailey make a career-defining move back to safety. Following his 61 tackle season with a team-high five interceptions, Bailey anxiously awaits his name being selected in this weekend's NFL Draft.
Standing at 6-feet, 200 pounds, the Lakewood (Calif.) product has found his niche for the next level. Ranked as high as the No. 5 safety in this year's draft class, the projected 4th round pick could make a serious impact for prospective NFL teams right from the very start of his professional career.
While Bailey will most certainly have free reigns to rotate down into the slot, like he did for large portions of last season in the former NFL defensive coordinator Clancy Pendergast's setup, the Trojan prospect will be spending much of his time dropping deep into the secondary hawking the defense for possible interceptions.
Finishing his career with 11 interceptions and 222 career tackles, Bailey definitely lived up to his accolades All-CIF Pac-5 Division first team performer back in high school. The presence of Bailey, Hayes Pullard and Lamar Dawson gave USC three explosive defensive players roaming the middle of the field over the past three seasons.
DION BAILEY DRAFT PROFILE
40-yard dash time: 4.62
Vertical jump: 34 inches
Broad jump: 9 feet, 5 inches
Shuttle run: 4.15 seconds
DION BAILEY COMBINE WORKOUT
CBS Sports' Rob Rang feels that Bailey has great diagnostic skills and can do an excellent job of being fluid, quick and decisive in the secondary.
COMPARES TO: Eric Weddle, San Diego Chargers - It remains to be seen if Bailey can handle the transition to the NFL as well as the Chargers' All-Pro safety, but like Weddle at Utah, Bailey's instincts, fluidity and penchant for big plays made him a consistent and versatile difference-maker at the collegiate level.