6’1, 229 pounds
Arm Length: 31 1/2″
Hand Size: 10 3/8″
(Rank among position in parentheses)
40 Yard Dash: 4.53 (4th)
Bench Press: 22 (7th)
Vertical Jump: 36.5″ (6th)
Broad Jump: 106 (3rd)
Baker is an excellent athlete and has very fluid movement. He moves well in space and has excellent lateral quickness. He is adept at moving sideline to sideline to make tackles on the ball carrier. Baker takes the right gaps often when attacking the run, and is a good finisher when it comes to tackling. He does not often bite on ball carrier fakes. Baker has the agility and acceleration of some running backs. He has good ability to run back into the play if he misdiagnoses but does not always do that. He is solid in man coverage and has the ability to stick with the quickest of running backs. Baker is an adept blitzer off of the weak side, and through the middle.
Baker lacks good size and physicality. He is not tough in the run game and has a questionable motor. Baker is often found in empty space, making no impact on the play. His lack of strengths allows blocks to eat him up; he does not shed blocks well. His skinny frame and lack of lower body strength hurt him greatly against the run. Baker’s play diagnosis is weak, but when he misreads a play, he doesn’t often work to recover. He is too handsy in coverage and causes too many penalties. Baker is not a thumper and will struggle to contend with stronger players on the next level.
The Colts’ linebacking play was some of the worst in the NFL last season. The unit of Antonio Morrison, Jon Bostic, and more, got lit up in the run and pass game. One thing this unit lacked was speed and athleticism, and Baker fits this mold perfectly. Due to his lack of strength and play diagnosis, he will slot in as a weakside outside linebacker in the Colts’ 4-3 scheme, where Matt Eberflus could utilize him as a third down blitzer and coverage guy.
Baker’s athleticism and speed will entice teams, and likely make him a second or third round selection. His skillset, a fast, rangy linebacker who can cover, makes him an ideal linebacker for nickel/dime packages in passing down situations. Due to his size and lack of ability in the run game, which are admittedly fixable, could hold him from being a starting caliber linebacker for quite some time. Baker will need the right coach and system to flourish into a great NFL starting linebacker.
Ben Pfeifer is the Managing Editor of the Colts for Full Press Coverage, the AFC South Division Editor, and head NBA editor. Want to continue the discussion? Contact Ben Pfeifer on Twitter @Ben_Pfeifer_ and @FPC_Colts.