The Denver Broncos will host Ohio State linebacker Jerome Baker for a pre-draft visit. He’s expected to be picked in the second or third round…
The Denver Broncos will continue hosting top prospects for the 2018 NFL Draft as they prepare to make eight selections in the top five rounds.
One player who may have piqued their interest is Ohio State linebacker Jerome Baker, one of the most athletic linebacker prospects in this class.
Baker will reportedly take a pre-draft visit to Denver and meet with the Broncos this week, this according to Broncos insider Mike Klis.
Baker ran a blazing 4.53 second 40-yard dash at the Scouting Combine and showed off his athleticism with a 36.5-inch vertical jump and 22 reps on the bench press.
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At 229 pounds, Baker is on the lighter side for a linebacker but is well-built for being just 6-foot-1. Some scouts seem to believe he’s more of a great athlete than a great football player at this point, which might make him more of an ideal pick in the later portion of the third round.
Despite not being overly refined, Baker was productive at Ohio State, racking up 155 tackles, 17.5 tackles for loss, and seven sacks over the past two seasons.
That type of speed and athleticism is what the Broncos covet at the linebacker position, and skill-wise, Baker could really complement Todd Davis for the Broncos quite well. The Broncos play a lot of their defensive snaps in the nickel, and Baker certainly has the type of speed that would allow Denver to put him in one-on-one coverage situations.
The Broncos have done a great job of finding and developing linebackers in the later rounds, so it would be exciting to see what linebackers coach Reggie Herring could do with a high pick and big time talent like this.
Denver will be in the market for a linebacker on the first two days of the draft, starting in round one where they could potentially be looking at Georgia’s Roquan Smith, Virginia Tech’s Tremaine Edmunds, or Boise State’s Leighton Vander Esch.