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Cowboys 2020 draft prospects: Purdue LB Markus Bailey scouting report & interview

Meet Markus Bailey, a versatile linebacker out Purdue.

COLLEGE FOOTBALL: SEP 07 Vanderbilt at Purdue Photo by Zach Bolinger/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

The Cowboys have a knack for using draft picks on linebackers, and a lot of the linebackers have come with some pre-draft injury flags. From Sean Lee to Jaylon Smith, the Cowboys have a history of getting excellent value on linebackers who have dropped due to an injury.

Markus Bailey out of Purdue could be the 2020 version of just this.

COLLEGE FOOTBALL: AUG 30 Northwestern at Purdue Photo by Zach Bolinger/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

Name: Markus Bailey

School: Purdue

Height: 6-1

Weight: 240

Class: RS Senior

Position: LB

Jersey: #21


Fast, physical, and instinctive are three of the words to use when watching Markus Bailey at Purdue. From his tackling style to his plays in coverage, Bailey has a knack for being around the football, and always brings it at 100%. He showed impressive boundary-to-boundary tackling range at Purdue playing both as an inside linebacker, and outside linebacker. Made plays sideline-to-sideline you wouldn’t think a bigger backer would be able to make. Good tackling technique when it comes to squaring up into gaps, shooting gaps, and in the open field. Had reps as a very good man-to-man cover backer.

Listen to BTB’s interview with Markus Bailey on the latest episode of Talkin’ The Draft!

Had an incredible interception against Indiana in 2016 covering a tight end up the seam. Very good hands for a linebacker, taking advantage of opportunities to take away the football. Instincts pop off the tape as Bailey always seems to be in the right spots at the right times. Read blockers leverage well, and is able to make plays on ball carriers with blockers in his path. Work ethic and leadership qualities are off the charts. He will absolutely dominate the combine interview process. Was used on the blitz on a high percentage of snaps, showing good feel for rush lanes, and timing as a blitzer.


Will have plenty of questions regarding the health of his knees. Tore both ACL’s throughout his career at Purdue. Was unable to play at all in 2019 due to an ACL tear. Lacks the ideal length for the position, so could play as a WILL at the next level to be kept clean. Showed signs of struggling to get off blocks due to lack of ideal length. Isn’t an overly twitched up athlete, he gets the job done fine, but could stand to gain some explosiveness in this area.

Overall Summary:

Without the injury concerns, Markus Bailey would likely be receiving a bit more buzz leading up to the draft. Showcasing impressive skills as a tackler, blitzer, and coverage guy, Bailey has the ability to be a three-down linebacker at next level. Had some of his best games at Purdue against some of the toughest competition he faced. May not be the freak athlete that some teams want at the position, but should have no issues finding a role as a MIKE linebacker with some WILL flexibility in the NFL. Will likely fit more with even front teams where he’s not asked to use his athleticism as much in space. A perfect day three candidate for the Cowboys, whose latest ACL surgery was done by the Cowboys team doctor, Dr. Cooper.

Tape Highlights:

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