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2024 Rookie Profile: Emani Bailey – Running Back

Emani Bailey is a player to keep your eyes on at the end of the NFL draft. His interesting traits make him a potential sleeper gem in this 2024 class.

Profile Overview

  • College: TCU
  • Height: 5’7″
  • Weight: 202 lbs
  • Arm: 29 7/8
  • Hands: 9 3/4
  • 40 Time: 4.61
  • 10 Yard Split: 1.57
  • Vertical Jump: 33.50″
  • Age: 22
  • Year: Senior
  • Draft Projection: 6th/7th Round

College Career

*2020LouisianaSun BeltFRRB5106060000.00
*2021LouisianaSun BeltFRRB111026426.381515310.20
*2022TCUBig 12JRRB14312508.127436.10
2023TCUBig 12SRRB1222312095.48251847.41

Emani Bailey went to Ryan High School in Denton, Texas. He was a three-year starter there and rushed for 4,000 yards and 51 touchdowns. He would commit to playing his college ball at the Louisiana Ragin’ Cajuns.

He wouldn’t play much as a freshman due to some solid Cajuns in Elijah Mitchell and Trey Ragas at the time. The Cajuns would have an undefeated conference record in his sophomore season thanks to a three-way committee in the backfield. Unfortunately, Bailey would be at the bottom with the fewest carries among the three. He would finish with the best YPC among the three with 6.3. He managed to do well despite missing three games due to an injury.

Going into his Junior season, Bailey would end up in the transfer portal, heading home back to Texas and playing for TCU. He wanted to get closer to home and played with his brother, who also committed to TCU.

Bailey would take a step back as he was behind solid players in Kendre Miller and Emari Demercado in 2022. He would still manage an 8.1 YPC on 31 touches as he was again waiting for his opportunity to break out. In Bailey’s senior season, he would finally break away from a committee-style backfield and explode for TCU. He would have 223 carries, while his backup only had 47 attempts. He would even see career highs in the passing game with 25 receptions.


Bailey has some attractive strengths for a later-round prospect. He’ll bring a physical rushing style for a team that doesn’t need 20-plus carries to be efficient. As a receiver, Bailey showed improvement in his senior season with reliable hands, as he caught all 25 targets. Despite being a more physical runner, he has solid footwork to make defenders miss in the short area. Bailey has the acceleration to move downfield if given open space. He has some wiggle room to escape a situation that grants him a few more yards. Bailey has two traits that stand out for him to make an NFL team in 2024.

Experience in Schemes

Bailey has experience working in different schemes during his college career. This would help give him the knowledge to understand and play with most NFL teams. Bailey played in zone schemes and gap-heavy schemes. He fits better in a zone scheme due to his running style and vision with the ball in his hands. This will make Bailey a more versatile player for an NFL team and give him a better chance to be drafted depending on a team’s running scheme.


Another trait that I like in Bailey is his vision. He uses his vision well, getting through the holes given to him. He also uses his vision to cut back when things go wrong and make adjustments when looking for another opening. Vision can prolong a running back career, and it is something that is at the top to be able to do. Bailey should be able to show off that vision at the NFL level and make some noise in training camp.


Bailey has some weaknesses in his game that we need to discuss. While it is not always an issue for running backs, his size can be a concern for his role at the next level. Bailey’s height measures in at 5’7″. We’ve seen some shorter running backs be elite, but there are few and far between. Bailey’s ability to block leaves a little to be desired since he tries, but the effect isn’t very successful. To add to his size, Bailey can be reckless with his runs, taking unnecessary hits for his frame.

Bailey doesn’t offer the top-end speed to make big plays at the next level. He can burst for ten yards but was consistently tackled from behind. As a runner, Bailey looks to bounce outside on plays and then take the opening that could be given in between the tackles. In the film, you can see a lot of hesitation in plays behind the line of scrimmage, which leads to negative yardage. Bailey had only one season of elite production at the college, showing him a later breakout age. 

Draft Projection/Rooke Value/Predictions

Bailey has the talent to be drafted by an NFL team, but I wouldn’t be surprised if he goes undrafted. I have him as a seventh-round pick for an NFL team or likely prior add after the draft. I think his size will hurt his stock and what position he will play for the right team. He did have a top-30 visit with the Cowboys and Browns, which would be two interesting landing spots. I doubt the Cowboys would since they already have a player like Deuce Vaughn. Browns would be an interesting long-term play for Bailey. We know Chubb could be gone after the 2024 season. Bailey would have more of a long-term value for dynasty.   

I don’t see Bailey impacting an NFL team immediately unless he lands in the right situation. He would be a taxi squad player to see if he can develop into the right role that could suit him in the NFL. Bailey could find himself in a promising role in the future, but he’ll have a long shot if he doesn’t land decent draft capital or situation at the NFL level.     

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