Given his size and physicality, Baker could be attractive to teams that run a 3-4 base defense. Teams could play him at ILB, where he would be relied upon to shed blockers and work within the box to make a lot of tackles.
Baker struggles with certain movements and isn't a great cover guy, so he could get exposed covering tight ends from a 4-3 base defense OLB position at the next level. Baker could get selected in the late rounds given that he will likely be a special teams contributor early.
This is a major reason that he could be attractive to a team running a 3-4 defense in which the inside linebackers are expected to be able to get off blocks from interior linemen on the second level.
He is a very reliable tackler, with the ability to gather his weight and settle down to make a tackle in pursuit, or dip his hips to deliver an explosive blow in his gap. He could be considered much like Ali Highsmith, a LB who came out of LSU a few years back, although he is a little better working inside the box than Highsmith.
He is not good to react once setting in his drop and has problems turning his hips to run; his feet serve him well when pursuing a ball carrier but not when having to work in a ton of space."
Possesses good range in pursuit, but isn’t overly aware when closing on the football and will be easily picked off by backs/tight ends getting out to the second level. Doesn’t do a great job avoiding contact and shifting his way through traffic.
Maximizes his length when trying to fight off blocks and eventually can disengage, but makes most of his tackles when run at down the field. Does a decent job sniffing out the football inside when unblocked. Is more of a drag down guy, but his longer arms and strong frame allow him to routinely get his man to the ground.
Displays the athleticism to get good depth off the line in his drop. Demonstrates natural range when asked to track the football, but is a bit tight hipped trying to get out of his breaks. Doesn’t generate a great burst for himself when redirecting and routinely is forced to skip laterally in order to catch himself before changing directions.
Isn’t overly instinctive reading his pass keys, takes him a while to decipher information and doesn’t feel routes develop around him well. Displays a little savvy as a blitzer though, firing off the edge, using his length well to keep himself clean and correctly timing up his blitz. However, is a bit tight trying to turn the corner and struggles to consistently break down on the ball.
Impression: Is consistently washed out of plays in the run game and isn’t dynamic enough vs. the pass (either in coverage or rushing the passer) to warrant a draftable grade in my view."
Tough player missed only one game after breaking his jaw in a pres-season practice last fall and then played in four games with his jaw wired shut;
Smart, instinctive player reads the play well and gets to the ball in a hurry; also a very physical tackler, but lacks great measurables; isn’t all that big at just under 6-0 and barely 230 pounds; has good quickness, but has limited speed in space;
Sees gaps in blocking and does and gets into backfield on a regular basis; had 11 tackles for loss last fall, including 7 sacks; has limited range in coverage; slightly older player will turn 25 during his first year in the pros."