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2017 Mock Drafts: Budda Baker To The Redskins?


In his first mock draft after the Super Bowl, Yahoo! Sports' Eric Edholm has the Redskins taking Washington safety Budda Baker with the No. 17-overall pick.

In a little more than three weeks, NFL teams will have the opportunity to speak with unrestricted free agents, hoping to entice them just enough to come aboard.

Check out these photos of Washington safety, Budda Baker.

While the Redskins could be big players in free agency this year, particularly on the defensive side of the ball, general manager Scot McCloughan still views the NFL Draft as the primary tool to building up a team.

So what will McCloughan do with the No. 17-overall pick this year? Will he go with an offensive pick in the first round again or will a defensive position of need be filled?

In his latest mock draft, Yahoo! Sports' Eric Edholm thinks the Redskins will chose the latter option, as he has Washington safety Budda Baker being picked at No. 17.

"This might feel like a reach to some, but with the two top safeties off the board Baker might not last much longer if the Redskins pass at this spot," Edholm writes. "Baker has the makeup of the kind of player general manager Scot McCloughan seeks: tough, feisty and versatile. On the surface, this might feel like a luxury pick, as Baker isn't a true center fielder and might have some overlap skills to Su'a Cravens. But the two can coexist as tone setters on an improving defense. Baker's ability to cover the slot makes him a valuable four-down player, when you consider his value on special teams as well."

In 40 games with the Huskies over the last three seasons, Baker collected 200 tackles (13.5 for loss) along with 24 passes defensed, five interceptions, four sacks and three fumbles forced.

During his senior season in 2016, the 5-foot-10, 192 pounder earned consensus All-American honors along with being a first-team All-Pac-12 selection as he led the team in tackles (71).

Baker recorded a career-high 10 tackles in a victory over Arizona on Sept. 24. He also recorded interceptions against Oregon and Washington State.

Baker was along named an All-Pac-12 first-team selection during his sophomore campaign, as he totaled 49 tackles with nine passes defensed and two interceptions.

The Bellevue, Wash., native made his college debut on Aug. 30, 2014, picking up seven tackles in a 17-16 victory over Hawai'i.

According to his draft profile, Baker is "tremendously explosive and passionate in his play."

"Former high school track sprinter with good play speed. Screams off the edge as a blitzer. Always bouncing on balls of his feet just waiting to race to the action on a dead sprint. Plays with smooth backpedal and diagonal shuffle. Has a shiftiness that allows him to mirror change of direction in space. Plus instincts from any coverage areas. Allows quarterback's eyes and pattern recognition to carry him around the field. Not easily pulled from coverage responsibilities by bait routes around him. Has the click and close ability of a cornerback in coverage. Ball skills are solid. Plays with exceptional aggression. Accelerates through receivers to jar the pass loose. Tackle finisher who races to the throw to end plays at the catch point. Scouts use terms like 'winner' and 'top notch person' to describe him," his profile states.

Need an NFL comparison for Baker? Try 2007 NFL Defensive Player of the Year and two-time first-team All-Pro Bob Sanders.

"Undersized free safety with the heart of a linebacker,"'s Lance Zierlein writes. "Baker plays with a competitive desire that leaps off the field when you watch him thanks to elite football character and above-average explosiveness. While he is undersized, he makes up for it with his football instincts and plus play speed. Baker has the talent to become a play-making safety with Pro Bowl potential if he can sustain his health."

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