Report: Falcons Taking Hard Look At Bailey


Welcome to managing editor Jay Adams' blog-style posts where Jay JAWS about the Falcons. JAWS, of course, stands for Jay Adams Writes Stuff, which means all the Falcons news and information that slips through the cracks — and some that doesn't — can be found right here in these posts

With so many defensive ends available in the Draft, the Falcons are tied to just about all of them through mock drafts. One in particular was an early favorite for the Falcons to pick at No. 27, but has now by most accounts slipped down into the second round and could be there when the Falcons select at No. 59 overall.

Miami defensive end Allen Bailey is the type of player who could be a steal if he's still on the board when the Falcons pick in the second round, and a report last week by National Football Post says the Falcons have a strong interest in him.

I like to hear that, but I have to point out that I may be a little biased when it comes to Bailey.

As I've mentioned before, I covered Bailey in high school when I was writing for the Savannah Morning News. Bailey was a senior at McIntosh County Academy when I started in Savannah, so I only saw him for a year, but what a year it was.

A lot of people describe watching talented athletes playing in high school like pro players among their fellow classmates. To me, Bailey was like a wild bull unleashed on Pop Warner kids.

In high school, he played inside linebacker and running back. And why not? Who was going to stop him? He was an absolute force on the field.

Of course, high school is no way to judge whether or not to draft a player into the NFL. But after following his career, I'm fairly confident Bailey can make a very smooth transition into the pro level, simply because of having his position changed over and over in college — from linebacker, to defensive end, to defensive tackle and all the way back again.

What is always the big story about Bailey is his upbringing. When I was in Savannah, I was fortunate enough to spend an entire day following him around for a "Day In The Life" piece I was writing, so I got to see these things firsthand.

Bailey is from a small island off the coast of Georgia — Sapelo Island — in a community called Hog Hammock. The population of the island at the time was about 50 people, but Bailey said at the Combine that it's likely up to about 60 now.

To get to school at McIntosh County Academy, which is on the mainland, Bailey would take a ferry on Monday morning from the island. He'd then drive to school and spend the school week living with one of his coaches before eventually heading back to Sapelo on Friday.

The piece I wrote on Bailey at the time has since disappeared from the Internet, which is a shame because I won one of the biggest writing awards in that state that year for that sucker, but's Mark Schlabach has a fantastic in-depth story of Bailey's life.

Just some food for thought on Bailey: He's not some kid who was pampered all his life because of his athletic ability. He's a kid who spent time in the marshes around the island for fun. He's got an outdoorsy-ness (not a word, but we'll use it) to him that easily translates to the football field. He spent his childhood fishing and hunting, because that's the way of life on Sapelo Island.

And in case you still weren't sold on him, check this out: He once killed an alligator with merely a shovel.

Tough to argue with that.

What's your take on Bailey? Let us know by voting below.

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