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Stedman Bailey Comparables
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Is Austin Collie the rare cross-racial comparison???

Stedman Bailey will be the guy that ends up going a little earlier than expected in your rookie draft if you have any followers of algorithmic projection systems in your dynasty league.  Bailey’s 2012 season at WVU was so impressive on the stat sheet that it’s actually difficult to come up with good comparables for him.  One of the problems is that when you start to reach the edges of a distribution, the dataset becomes really sparse and the names that show up in terms of similarity scores aren’t as similar as you would see for a guy that is more in the middle of the distribution.  Bailey’s 124 yards per game receiving and 60% of his team’s touchdown share qualify as being “edge of the distribution” type of accomplishments.

We can however, generate a list of guys who are somewhat similar to Bailey.  But I’m going to do this in two steps.  First I’m going to show you some names of guys whose last college seasons were about as impressive as Bailey’s, but whose draft stock was in another world compared to Bailey.

*Note that for those interested in adjusting numbers for the offense, that’s what the Market Share numbers do.  So we have two measures (msYDS and msTD) that are adjusted for offense.

Name SEAS WT v40TM SOS G msYDS msTD YPG TDPG YPR RUSHYPG
Stedman Bailey-West Virginia 2012 193 4.52 0.63 13 38% 60% 124.77 1.92 14.23 1
Name SEAS WT v40TM SOS G msYDS msTD YPG TDPG YPR RUSHYPG Draft
Larry Fitzgerald-Pittsburgh 2003 225 4.48 -0.16 13 45% 58% 128.62 1.69 18.17 0.38 Top 10
Justin Blackmon-Oklahoma State 2011 207 4.46 1.5 13 31% 45% 117.08 1.38 12.58 4.54 Top 11
Braylon Edwards-Michigan 2004 210 4.45 0.75 12 48% 62% 110.83 1.25 13.71 5.08 Top 12

 

It’s probably fair to say that given that these players are bigger and faster than Bailey, that it would be correct to view them as superior prospects (although I think Blackmon’s 40 yard dash is really in doubt given the way that he expects to get caught from behind).  So I’m not exactly saying that we should put Bailey in their company as a prospect, as I do think that some discount is warranted.  But I just wanted to point out that his college production was on a level that is sort of stunning to think about.

Here is a list of guys who are probably a little more comparable to Bailey in terms of their quality as prospects given that they are closer to Bailey in size or speed and they all did go later in the draft as a result.

Name SEAS WT v40TM SOS G msYDS msTD YPG TDPG YPR RUSHYPG
Stedman Bailey-West Virginia 2012 193 4.52 0.63 13 38% 60% 124.77 1.92 14.23 1
Name SEAS WT v40TM SOS G msYDS msTD YPG TDPG YPR RUSHYPG Draft Rd
Ryan Broyles-Oklahoma 2011 192 4.51 1.54 9 34% 36% 128.56 1.11 13.94 0.33 2
Jarett Dillard-Rice 2008 191 4.52 -1.45 13 31% 43% 100.77 1.54 15.06 0 5
Jordan Shipley-Texas 2009 193 4.6 0.4 14 39% 45% 106.07 0.93 12.8 0 3
Golden Tate-Notre Dame 2009 199 4.42 0.45 12 39% 50% 124.67 1.25 16.09 15.5 2
Kendall Wright-Baylor 2011 196 4.42 1.04 13 37% 35% 127.92 1.08 15.4 5.54 1
Austin Collie-Brigham Young 2008 200 4.56 -1.46 13 39% 44% 118.31 1.15 14.51 5.92 4

 

It’s worth noting that while Bailey is closer in size to this group, he’s closer in production to the first group.  If we’re ranking variables by importance, college production is more important than size in every single model I’ve ever tested.

I think maybe the closest comp in this group might be Austin Collie.  He always seemed like the kind of receiver that you weren’t 100% sure how he was getting open, but he always was and on a regular enough basis that was surprising given that he was never the biggest or the fastest guy.

Like Collie, Bailey seems to have some kind of instinct around the goal line that makes him a red zone threat in a way that few smaller guys are.  Here is a quick graph that shows red zone TD % for a few of the receivers above.

 

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