A lot of the attention on the Dolphins recently completed draft will be focused on the top two picks and rightfully, so. Alabama defensive back Minkah Fitzpatrick and Penn State tight end Mike Gesicki are both expected to be impact players right away in Miami.
Another selection that has us curious is a little lesser known prospect from a big time school (Ohio State), who came on strong at the end of the 2017. And the Fins grabbed in round three last Friday night: linebacker Jerome Baker.
Here are five things to know about Baker:
As we wrote, Thursday, the Dolphins were so impressed with him during watching Buckeyes practices and seeing him play in person in games that they were willing to “look past” his being undersized, 6’1 220lbs., for their liking. In particular, they like the fact that he has coverage skills downfield and that will come in handy against teams who have tight ends, like the Patriots and Rob Gronkowski, who like to go well beyond the line of scrimmage to make plays in the passing game.
What probably solidified Baker in the Fins (and a lot of team’s minds) was his monstrous performance against Wisconsin in the Big Ten Championship Game last December. Baker finished with a career high 16 tackles on the biggest stage, as Ohio State won and advanced to the Cotton Bowl.
Baker was prep star at St. Benedictine High School in Cleveland, OH, who led them to the state championship game win in 2015 with 11 tackles and two defensive scores in the title game. Interestingly, he was originally committed to the Florida Gators and ticketed to play in the SEC. However, former Gators and now Buckeyes boss, Urban Meyer got him to flip that decision in February of 2015 to come to Columbus.
Another very impressive stat for Baker and for Meyer’s program building at OSU is the staggering 26 Buckeyes that have now been drafted in the last three NFL Drafts.
And that includes, Baker’s former teammate and fellow linebacker, Raekwon McMillan, whom the Dolphins selected in the second round a year ago, but suffered a season ending knee injury in preseason. This will obviously be of help to Baker, as he comes to South Florida to get acclimated to everything in the NFL.
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