After five years at San Jose State, Bailey Gaither had significant playing time in 2017 after catching just one of his eight targets in 2016. He finished the year with a 58 percent catch rate on 38 targets, for 14.5 yards per reception and four touchdowns.
Gaither’s 2018 campaign had to be cut short due to an Achilles injury. That year, he caught 31 passes and averaged 20.3 yards per catch while scoring three times in just four games.
Gaither returned from an injury in 2019 and had a breakthrough year in terms of statistical production. Overall, he was successful in hauling in 53 percent of his 98 targets for an average of 15.6 yards per reception and six touchdowns.
Gaither’s 17.6-yard ADOT was one of the highest marks in NCAA football that year, indicating that he was primarily targeted deep in the field. His ADOT was 16.2 yards throughout his career.
Gaither was targeted 58 times during the course of the seven games of the COVID-19-shortened 2020 season, but we witnessed a significant improvement in his pass-catching effectiveness as he grabbed a career-high 70.7 percent of those throws at 17.7 yards per reception and with four touchdowns.
Gaither spent much of his final two seasons at San Jose State on the perimeter, where he was a home run threat for the Spartans. However, his versatility will serve him well in the Matt LaFleur scheme, where he will be used in a variety of positions.
How Good Is Bailey Gaither?
Gaither did a much better job of blocking for the run this past season, according to PFF’s grading system. Again, this is a very important part of the LaFleur system.
Gaither has shown big-play ability throughout the course of his college career, but his Pro-Day numbers didn’t reflect that. He ran the 40 in 4.48 seconds, which is good, but his RAS of 4.19 is below par for wide receivers. He’s a bit undersized at 6’0″ and 188 pounds, and his results in the vertical, bench press, shuttle, and 3-cone tests were all “bad” on the RAS scale.