Budda Baker 2017 NFL Draft Profile

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Overview
Position: Safety
Height: 5’10”
Weight: 190 pounds
School: Washington Huskies

Budda Baker 2017 NFL Draft Profile

As much as we want to credit Budda Baker for having one of the coolest names in the draft, truth is that his birth name is Bishard. His mom started calling him Budda when he was a baby because she saw a resemblance to the religious symbol.

Baker is entering the draft after his junior season. He was a three year starter in Seattle, earning first-team All-Pac 12 honors as a junior and senior. He was also on the conference All-Academic team his last two seasons.

Statistically, his freshman year may have been his best, as he had 80 tackles, one interception, and six pass breakups. His impact on games, though, grew season by season as offenses tried to find a way to avoid him on the field. He had 49 tackles and seven pass breakups as a sophomore and 71 tackles, two interceptions and six pass breakups in season three. The one time Washington high school 100 meter state champion quickly turned his track attributes into an explosive style of play on the field. Watch enough game film of him and you can see his progress to the ball/wide receiver is something that few in the college game have.

Strengths

  • Footwork, very active.
  • Exceptional at change of direction, diagonal movement and back pedaling with receiver.
  • Work as a sprinter gives him explosive first step reaction time to the play.
  • Very aggressive style of play.
  • Adept at following quarterback’s eyes for coverage and is not easily duped by fake routes.

Weaknesses

  • Size. He started UW at 167 pounds and gained 20 over his three seasons, but needs more for the NFL.
  • Has a tough time against tight ends because of his size.
  • His aggressive style gets him out of position too often.
  • Needs discipline defending the running game.

NFL ComparisonD.J. Swearinger. Teams are hoping he can get up to Swearinger’s 208 pounds and still play effectively.

Teams with a Need at Position: Tampa Bay Bucs, Baltimore Ravens, New Orleans Saints, Buffalo Bills, Chicago Bears

Projection:  Early to mid-second round

Bottom Line

It’s not like there is anything that can be done about Baker’s height, so the goal will be to bulk him up a little more without compromising his explosive first step or overall coverage speed. He has the body of a small safety but plays with the energy and desire of a linebacker. Watching film on him, you can see that he really makes very few mistakes, and when he does they are errors that stem from effort.

He has coverage discipline great reactions to the ball and NFL speed. Outside coverage will not be an issue, except against the likes of taller receivers. He does have above-average leaping ability but has yet to be disadvantaged by that. It would be easy to imagine him on the outside against certain receivers, but also playing centerfield against other teams and coming up to cover a slot receiver as needed. He will need to learn tackling discipline against the bigger NFL running backs, but the skill set and desire appear to be there.

 

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