Defensive end Patrick Bailey didn’t hear his name called on either day of the 2008 NFL Draft. Instead, he signed a free-agent contract with the Pittsburgh Steelers Sunday, after the last pick had been made. He heads to Steelers minicamp this weekend.
Bailey was arguably Duke’s best defensive player last season, ranking in the top 10 of the ACC in sacks and tackles for loss before his season was ended with an injury against Wake Forest in week 7.
I’ll never forget talking to Bailey after Duke secured its first win in two years at Northwestern this year. Minutes earlier, the Duke defense had conducted a goal-line stand against the Wildcats to earn the victory, and Bailey was in the middle of it all. In the locker room after the game, he still hadn’t caught his breath, and he was exhaling and laughing; he was the epitome of glee.
Sounds like Sunday may have been an even better day for him.
–by Ben Cohen