When you breakdown the 2017 NFL Draft, you really have no idea what you are going to get. Sure, you know who the players are and what they can do, but the translation of that is always the tricky part.
No matter what though, you won’t convince me that Budda Baker is going to fail.
There are always players you feel like they will be successful. Baker is that guy for me.
However, what do the experts say?
Every year Bob McGinn does rankings and includes anonymous quotes from inside the NFL, GM’s, executives, scouts.
It is one of my favorite things to do to go back and look at what these guys said after the Arizona Cardinals have made their selection.
What did they say about Budda Baker?
First off, McGinn had Baker ranked as his sixth safety, but beauty is in the eye of the beholder. Baker being ranked along side players like Marcus Williams, Malik Hooker and Obi Melifonwu is like ranking tight ends and wide receivers. They do different things, they win in different ways.
If you ranked safeties who play the same position and style of Baker, McGinn’s list would have looked like:
That makes sense to me, both Adams and Peppers have the size that the NFL covets over Baker. Neither has been as productive on the field, but in the NFL, size wins out.
What did the scouts say?
“He ain’t Earl Thomas,” one scout said. “He’s a box safety, but he can make some plays. Only thing that kills him is length. Short arms (30 ¾) and not very tall.”
You know who Baker is kind of built like... Eric Weddle. He turned out okay.
Classified with Peppers as a strong safety/dime by one scout. Has covered wide receivers in the slot. “He’s at his best playing nickel corner,” another scout said. “I think he’ll have limitations playing safety. I do buy into the kid and the player. He’ll be hell on (special) teams.”
One of the things we have seen about the Cardinals that many within the NFL lack is the ability to see versatility as a strength. Now, versatility is only good if there is production, and Baker, well he produces:
Finished with 200 tackles, 5 picks and 22 PBUs. Played on a high school team in Bellevue, Wash., that never lost a game (42) in his three seasons. “The coaches will tell you he’s the best player on their team,” a third scout said. “They love that guy. Small guy that can run.”
Baker has me excited.