Budda Baker - My first go at a more in depth scout report

READ : I know some of you have issues watching the highlights so I compiled them and posted them on YouTube : https://youtu.be/SK3zlCMNcwA

Hey guys I'm back and today I present to you my first in depth(ish) scout report on Budda Baker, I have (wayyy) more videos and some more pictures. I'll try to tell you guys what formations fit him and once again I'd like to thank @BendixenNFL for helping me organise my thoughs and ideas!

Budda Baker is 5ft10 192lb meaning he's small and not as strong as most safeties in this draft, for example Malik Hooker is 6ft2 205lb making him more of a target to some teams than Baker, it's rumored that Hooker will go in the 1st round (probably top 15-25) while Baker is seen more as a second option, obviously they're both great athletes but how do they fare on the field? Well, I don't know about Hooker, yet ;). But I can tell you about Baker!

Budda played all 14 college games and racked up a total of 71 tackles (49 solo, 22 assist), 10 tackles for loss, he also had 3 sacks, 1 QB hurry, 6 pass break ups, a forced fumble and 2 interceptions. That pretty much speaks for itself. Baker is a very good tackler and once he gets to you you're probably not going anywhere, he's also good at anticipating the play which means he can tackle for loss which normally means he'd be a great player to have inside the "box" if it wasn't for his size. Numbers only I decided to compare him to ET III, Earl is also 5ft10 but he's 202lb which means he's stronger than Baker. In Earl's last college year he racked up 65 total tackles, 4.5 for loss and had 8 interceptions 2 of which were TDs, so what does this tell you? Both Earl and Baker are great tacklers, they can both read the field quite well and if you want a student for Earl, Baker is definitely the guy!

He can literally play everywhere, UW lined him :

In the line of scrimmage

As a single high safety 

As a Corner

In normal two safeties scheme (Cover 2 for example)

Lined up right next to the linebackers (like the Seahawks do with Kam)

Well now let's look at Baker's strengths and weaknesses (I'll go in depth during highlights)

Strengths :

  1. Fast (very, very fast) ;
  2. Great Tackler ;
  3. Reads the play well ;
  4. Is a good blitzer ;
  5. Fast to adjust.

  1. Size concerns ; 
  2. Questionable timing as to when rush the QB ;
  3. Questionable hands ; 
  4. Can be beaten by smart RBs.

Highlights :

Baker shows his speed that allows him to get half a sack with his team-mate.

This highlight shows Baker's killer speed getting in on that sack.

Here Baker stays back because he's in a cover 2, after seeing the screen develop he let's the receiver catch the ball and right after make the tackle. 

Baker is in man coverage, never let's his man go making the QB throw it out of bounds.

Here he does kinda of a CB blitz but gets picked up by his blocker, showed good speed however it was a risky play because the QB gets away but his team-mates bail him out. 

On this play Baker decides to blittz the QB however he runrs to the opposite side rendering his rush useless, however he shows great pursuit never letting the QB go too far eventually forcing him out of bounds thanks to his team-mate's positioning. 

Again thanks to his route knowledge Baker sees the screen develops and makes a move to break the tackle, even though the WR tried to block him he gets around him and makes a tackle saving a big play. 

Baker almost gets the sack on this play but the QB spots it making him throw to his RB that picks up the first down.

In this play you can see where his smaller size and weight come into play, even though he reads the play and tries to stop it he gets blocked by the TE giving enough time for his team to get the first down.

This was actually a cool play to see, Baker anticipates the QB and waits for the pass however he can't jump it missing the interception. This clearly shows his vision though.

Arizona State tried to make an onside kick, Baker was quick to react though and was the second player to reach the ball, showing his speed. 

On this play you can see (again) that Baker doesn't get fooled by the end around and he ends up making a big tackle for loss.

Baker gets picked up by his blocker but only momentarily, forcing the QB to throw an interception.

Here you can see Baker's good man coverage however it wouldn't be enough to stop the first down if it wasn't for a flag on the play. 

Here Baker decides to rush the QB making his get unsettled helping his team-make make the interception.

Baker gets to the RB behind the line of scrimmage thanks to his blockers that open up a gap for him to go throw and his speed made the tackle possible.

Baker stands back and sees the play develop, once he sees the open TE he runs at him making the tackle and forcing a minimal 2 yard gain.

Baker gets in the backfield and stops the RB in the line of scrimmage thanks to his acceleration and great tackling.

Great vision by Baker that was in his Safety position, he notices they're probably not going to go deep down the field so he moves forward next to his linebacker and corner giving them help, he ends up making that tackle himself.

Here an interception basically falls on his hands but he can't grab the football, thus why I said he has questionable hands. 

´Baker gets beaten by a spin move on forth and long letting the drive continue, perhaps this shows his inexperience of not playing the distance but rushing to make the tackle. 

On this play Baker does everything right, good coverage, good timing on the jump but he's just too small to stop the TD pass.

Baker shows his explosive speed again forcing the QB to throw an incomplete pass.

Baker's good tackling saves a TD play.

He doesn't quit and makes a good effort on making the tackle.

In the red zone, Baker reads the play and is the first to react making the tackle and stopping the TD.

Baker again shows his inexperience getting beating by a simple juke by the QB and he gets the TD.

On this play you can see Baker's tremendous tackling ability not letting that player go anywhere after he gets a hold of him.

Baker is just too short to avoid this huge completion and thus Arizona keeps their drive alive with a 58 yards gain.

And the final piece of highlights is this Baker interception where he once again reacts to the ball even before the QB has thrown it allowing him to get to it first and make the pick!

My overall assessment of Baker is that he's one of many great Safeties in the draft. I see him going early second round because he has the ability to be all-star playmaker. He's fast, strong(ish), versatile, he can read the field well because he's got route knowledge and a fast reaction. On the down side his size can be an issue like his questionable hands (however he is a free safety so as long as he can deflect those passes you should be okay), he also makes questionable rushes at thethe QB meaning that sometimes it would be better for him if he dropped into coverage... meaning that sometimes he'll allow big completions if he doesn't reach the QB in time but if you do let him gamble on that he can either hurry the QB to throw a pick / incomplete pass or even get the sack, one of his final flaws is the fact that he wants to tackle too much meaning that he'll struggle against patient RBs that can get by him with a juke or spin move. So, like I said he's good everywhere you play him, just don't ask him to play inside the "box" he's not big enough, he's fast and eager so I think whoever lands him is in for a treat! He is a certainly a fun player to watch!


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