Redshirt junior safety Dion Bailey announced he will leave for the NFL draft at a press conference Monday.
Bailey is the #3 rated free safety in this year’s draft according to NFLdraftscout.com. He is projected to go anywhere from the second to fourth round by walterfootball.com. Though his natural position is as a safety, he could conceivably play linebacker in the NFL as well.
In fact, the 6-0, 210 pound safety started as a linebacker in 2011 after redshirting the previous year. Playing on the strongside, Bailey was named the Pac-12 and CollegeFootballNews.com Freshman Defensive Player of the Year. He made just about every Freshman All-American first team and was an All-Pac-12 second team selection.
In 2012 he led the Trojans in interceptions and was an All-Pac-12 honorable mention at linebacker.
This year he switched to safety in Clancy Pendergast’s 3-4 system. Once again he showed his ballhawking ability by leading USC in interceptions. He was named to the All-Pac-12 second team. He was also honored as USC’s Defensive Perimeter Player of the Year.
Bailey finished his USC career with 223 tackles, 3.5 sacks, three forced fumbles and 11 interceptions in three seasons.
In his final game as a Trojan against Fresno State in the Royal Purple Las Vegas Bowl, Bailey logged four tackles and two tackles for loss.