Bob Holt is a reporter for the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette. A graduate of the University of Missouri, he is a member of the Football Writers Association of America, and voter for the Heisman Trophy, Biletnikoff Award and AP Top 25 basketball poll. Holt was awarded Arkansas Sportswriter of the Year in 2000 and 2015.
Kiper marks Bailey as 2nd-day draftee
Alvin Bailey will forgo his final season of eligibility to enter April's NFL Draft.
FAYETTEVILLE Some may wonder if former Arkansas guard Alvin Bailey might have made a mistake by entering the 2013 NFL Draft rather than returning to the Razorbacks as a fifth-year senior.
Mel Kiper, Jr., who has been analyzing the draft for ESPN since 1984, doesn’t see it that way.
Kiper said this year’s draft, which will be held April 25-27, is deep in interior offensive linemen, but Kiper said he expects Bailey to be selected on the second day, when the second and third rounds are held.
Bailey, 6-5 and 315 pounds, started 38 consecutive gamesat Arkansas the past three seasons after redshirting as a true freshman in 2009. He played the right and left guard spots in Arkansas’ system that features flipping linemen and having them at weakside or strongside spots.
Several draft websites list Bailey among the top 10 guards.
“I’m not shocked he came out,” Kiper said Wednesday during a teleconference with reporters. “He was the thirdhighest-rated junior guard. He obviously has all the size and athletic ability you want. I know the coaches [at Arkansas] raved about him since early in his career.
“I’d say probably third round for Bailey right now, with a chance to move up,because I think he’s going to have some spectacular workouts.”
Running back Knile Davis also bypassed what would have been his fifth season at Arkansas to enter the draft. He rushed for 1,322 yards and 13 yards as a sophomore in 2010 and redshirted in 2011 after breaking an ankle during an August scrimmage. He was a preseason All-SEC choice in 2012, but struggled to regain his form and finished with 112 carries for 377 yards and 2 touchdowns and 11 receptions for 157 yards, including a 64-yard touchdown at Texas A&M.
In Davis’ final game for the Razorbacks, he looked more like his old self as he rushed 7 times for 31 yards and caught5 passes for 52 in a 20-13 loss to an LSU team loaded with NFL prospects on defense.
Going back to his high school career at Missouri City, Texas, Davis has undergone ankle surgery three times and had one shoulder surgery.
“It will be interesting to see how Knile Davis fares through the process just with all the injuries he’s had,” Kiper said. “He’s a guy that when he’s been healthy, he’s been a heck of a running back in the SEC.
“So he could drop and be one of those late-round guys that people look at and say, ‘How did he drop that far?’ Well, he dropped obviously because of the durability concerns.”
Sports, Pages 24 on 01/17/2013