Getting To Know Our Rookies: Jerome Baker


Image result for jerome baker

Miami Dolphins
Position: Linebacker
Personal information
Born: December 25, 1996 (age 21)
Cleveland, Ohio
Height: 6 ft 1 in (1.85 m)
Weight: 225 lb (102 kg)
Career information
High school: Cleveland (OH) Benedictine
College: Ohio State
NFL Draft: 2018 / Round: 3 / Pick: 73
Career history
Roster status: Unsigned draft pick
Player Bio:
Baker’s final high school game was in the same Ohio Stadium in which he started his Buckeyes career the following fall. The four-star recruit ranked in the top 10 nationally at outside linebacker after being named All-Ohio and the state’s Division IV Co-Defensive Player of the Year. But even talented player like Baker have to wait their turn with a bevy of veterans ahead of him on the depth chart. Rather than redshirting in 2015, however, he played in the final seven games of the year as a reserve (three tackles). He thought he might have to wait another year to before getting his shot as a starter, but an injury to Dante Booker put Baker in the starting Will spot in 2016. He garnered honorable mention All-Big Ten honors, making 83 tackles, 9.5 for loss, and 3.5 sacks while starting 12 of 13 games. He also intercepted two passes, including one against Oklahoma’s Baker Mayfield that he returned 68 yards for a score; Baker also had seven tackles, 1.5 for loss, in that contest. Baker was an honorable mention all-conference pick in 2017, as well, leading the Buckeyes with 72 tackles, eight for loss, 3.5 sacks, and three pass breakups in 13 starts.
Overview

Baker is a likely 4-3 weakside linebacker candidate with the range and speed to chase and tackle around the field and the coverage talent to squeeze routes from man or zone. What Baker has in athletic ability and speed, he lacks in strength and toughness against the run. Baker’s junior season failed to impress and teams will have to decide if he’s a sub-package linebacker or a three-down talent. Baker lacks instincts teams look for from the position, but it’s hard to ignore his rare speed. He could find early snaps in sub-packages, but may never be more than an average backup to below average starter.

Strengths
  • Moves fluidly and fast
  • Has hip looseness and footwork to flow around the field
  • Has trigger burst to flash from backside and close down running lanes
  • Tremendously rangy as tackler
  • Change of direction comes easily
  • Capable of eluding blockers with quick lateral movement
  • Takes efficient paths to the ball
  • Sifts and works through traffic bouncing in and out of gaps
  • Has athletic ability to handle premium athletes in space
  • Shadowed Saquon Barkley for most of the game and helped keep him in check
  • Talented in space with footwork to match receivers in space and hands to take the ball
  • Can carry vertical receivers down the field
  • Able to outrun mistakes and slow diagnosis
Weaknesses
  • Skinny frame and gets engulfed by size
  • Looks small, plays small
  • Lacks functional play strength and sturdy base to withstand power
  • Must improve hand work to keep himself clean
  • Gets glued to blocks
  • Slow to diagnose and instincts are below par
  • Lingers on second level rather than bringing it to running backs
  • Lack of size and nastiness could be a concern on run downs against bully-ball rush attacks
  • Loses gap leverage and gets knocked around the field
  • Ducks head into contact
  • Has too many hit and slide tackle attempts
  • Gets caught flowing past his run fits
  • Motor can be inconsistent and will loaf at times in space.

 

TDS Take:

Even though I would have preferred Miami Drafted the higher rated Tremaine Edmunds in round one, I love the fact that they brought in Jerome Baker because of his relationship with fellow LB and last years 2nd round pick Raekwon McMillan also from Ohio State both of them played together and they both in 2016 were  both were named Butkus Award Semifinalist while playing together in Ohio State.

The reason why he was not rated a first rounder is because of his height he is an undersized OLB at 6′-1″ that might pose a problem against the best TE in the game who average 6′-4″ or better.

He will have plenty of time to play against a Tall TE in practice because drafted ahead of him by Miami was  6′-5″ TE  Mike Gesicki who will battle with him in practice.

WELCOME TO MIAMI Jerome Baker!

 

 

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