Budda Baker, FS – Washington
When the Washington Huskies are on defense you can’t help but to notice Baker on most downs. He has a knack for being in the area of the action and a passion for being in the middle of it. His instincts go a long way towards aiding his level of involvement.
He plays as though it comes natural. His instincts can’t be taught, but are always improving with experience. He will likely continue to grow in this area because he has the work ethic that coaches love.
Not afraid of contact; actually he is the seek and destroy type. It is all sorts of chaotic goodness when Baker has the angle on a ball carrier because he arrives with bad intentions. His quickness allows him to really close in on the opposition. Budda is also about as good a blitzer as this safety class has to offer.
The Huskie defensive back is more quick than fast; though he is fast enough. He just doesn’t possess elite speed to stay with the speedsters down the field. This would limit how you use him in certain packages of course.
Okay so he’s a little on the small side. For a player that launches himself into contact the way he does it’s hard to imagine him being healthy for 16 games consistently. He’s lack of size makes him a liability against bigger receivers and tight ends he’d be asked to cover in the NFL as well.
Outlook for the Dallas Cowboys
As a player I love everything Baker stands for. He is smart, he is tough and he plays with passion. I believe he fits in the early to mid second round area, but the combine could go a long way in determining that. How he measures in terms of weight, height and speed could see him jump to the first or drop to the third just as easily.
I think he is an interesting prospect in terms of what he would mean on the Dallas Cowboys roster. He is certainly too small to play strong safety. Current Cowboys free safety Byron Jones is a better safety than he is at corner and should not be trusted to play the strong safety position.
If Dallas drafts Baker it would be best to play him at free safety and allow Jones to be a tight end cover specialist, which is what he does best (Green Bay game aside). That being said, I can’t defend spending a first round pick on a “shift your defense around luxury” pick, but in the second? Let’s talk.