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Budda Baker
2 Budda Baker 14 Washington Jr 5100 195 2

We approached our #45 pick wondering whether we'd trade back into the first round for a QB (Kizer or Webb). Didn't happen. Well, then, what about trading up early in Round 2. As we neared the fourth pick of round two, a trade was announced - the Cards (in a complicated deal involvinh other picks) moved up to #36. Baker was the top player on my Day 2 Board, but QB's tend to have more value. Would it be Kizer? Webb? Nope, it was Budda, and we were jumping for joy. The boo-birds who occupy important seats in Cardinal fandom (as they do in virtually every NFL city) voiced concerns about Baker's size, drops of too many potential interceptions and the cost of moving up to get him. What they are failing to recognize is that - especially in an unorthodox defense led by the Honey Badger, we're only one ACL from having to overhaul our entire defense should Mathieu get injured. We view Buda as "Badger insurance" and a helluva safety in his own right. We loved the pick.

Sawed off version of the other elite safeties...4.45 doesn't suggest "lack of top end speed" Write ups describe a DB modeled after the Honey Badger - good 2nd round pick to provide depth behind Tyrann?.. - Gollin

The Deone Bucannon comp has been a popular one for Peppers. It is more apropos for Baker, who can be very physical when pulled up to the line.- SI (Ranks #4 as a safety) -

Competitve and tough/plays bigger than size...Great instincts and always around the ball...Very aware in zone coverage...Tries to play a physical game...may be shorter than even originally listed...lacks top end speed...short arms...good in zone coverage...lack of speed hurts him deep...In sub situations will line up more as a LB and make plays...Scout says: "You know it's funny, as much as I love the big three, if Budda baker was two-inches taller and 15 pounds heavier, he'd absolutely be the concensus top safety...Unfortunately, he isn't but I'll still beg my guys to take him if he's there when we come up in the second round."... - PFW

Played primarily as a single-high safety and in the slot as a nickel cover man...Ideally suited for a hybrid CB/safety role...Excellent reaction, quickness and range...Twitchy and sudden...Lacks ideal length - relatively small catching radius, dropped picks. Less than impressive body type..."Plays with a little bit of crazy" (which jacks teammates)...Competes with excellent reaction quickness and range to make plays all over the field. ...Rangy athlete with the instant accelerator to cover a lot of green...Twitchy reflexes/sudden flipping his hips and changing directions. Instinctive /quick to click-and-close on plays in front of him. Secondary recovery/pursuit burst...Plays with a "my ball" mentality...Good timing and burst as a blitzer...Physical tackler, staying low and driving his feet as a tackler. Understands pursuit angles and field leverage...Stays focused on and off the field. Undersized, but boasts trademark toughness ("One of the toughest guys I've ever been around." -- DB coach Jimmy Lake). ... Takes overaggressive angles/ needs to be more consistent with his high-to-low finishing skills. Struggles to shed once engulfed Must better anticipate in coverage. Lack of size leads to durability concerns...Comp: Tyrann Mathieu, - NFLDS (Brugler )

Needs to get stronger to tackle in the NFL, but he is a fast safety who flies around the field. Can help in pass coverage and is a willing tackler in the ground game. Adding strength might be his best route before going pro. - WalterFB

Forty: .4.45..Twenty: ...Ten: ...BP: 15...VJ: 32.5...BJ: 115...SS: 4.08...LS: ...3C: 6.76.

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Copyright 1996 Gollin & Associates. Last modified: 04/06/2013