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Javon Baker’s Draft Stock

Knights Gone Pro: Javon Baker’s Draft Stock

By Nick Williams


UCF’s receiving yard leader last season and first-team All-Big 12 player Javon Baker is making a lot of noise in Indianapolis this weekend. 


After recording 52 receptions for 1,139 yards last season on top of his seven touchdown catches, any UCF fan would know he has been ready to go pro. Standing at 6’1 and 208 pounds, Baker is exceptional at route running and making spectacular catches. It’s a no-brainer that scouts and fans alike have compared him to his predecessor, Gabe Davis, and one of the best comparisons I’ve come across was Amon-Ra St. Brown; all three are deep ball threats. 


NFLdraftbuzz.com is one of the best sites for scouting reports and has the most respectable “strengths” and “weaknesses” I could find for Baker. For starters, a strength listed was “Has the strong hands any NFL wide receiver coach and quarterback would covet.” Another would be, “Good quickness off the line. Has size and quickness to get off the NFL press.” All of these are great attributes regarding what scouts in Indianapolis are looking for before reporting back to the general manager. As for Baker’s weaknesses, they listed, “Baker seems comfortable in traffic to the point where Baker doesn't make the effort to create separation.” When it comes to Baker, I believe his speed is a testament to how this weakness can be overcome, and his 70+ yard catches can be a sign of his separation ability.


Leading up to the Senior Bowl, Javon Baker was overlooked and underappreciated by some. Mock draft boards had him as a 5th to 6th round pick, which was not doing him justice. The Reese’s Senior Bowl let Baker stand out when it came to his upcoming wide receiver class. Baker didn’t have a lot of free passes dropped; his consistency stood out, as did his constant wins on the line of scrimmage. Houston Texans team analyst John Harris commented on Javon Baker’s day at the Senior Bowl, claiming, “He skidded for the touchdown catch as if he were on a trampoline. When he went up in the air, there were audible gasps and a few ‘HOLY SH-!’ comments near me.” Baker’s draft stock has been on the rise ever since, and now we see him as a 2nd and 3rd round draft pick on mock boards. Breshad Perriman still boasts the highest pick for a UCF wide receiver, being the 26th overall pick in the first round of the 2015 draft. If Baker does, however, get picked up in the 2nd or 3rd round, he would be the first UCF wide receiver since Tre’Quan Smith in 2018 to be picked in round 3 or lower. 


This weekend has looked very impressive for Baker at the combine; he ranked 5th in “Top Speed at 5 Yards in a 40-Yard Dash,” clocking in at 12.59 miles per hour. His first unofficial 40-yard dash clocked in at 4.54 seconds, which is, of course, very solid, but hopefully he will return to the clock in an official time that is a little bit better. Will this affect his draft stock? Not at all. Scouts and fans alike have their eye on our guy, and he’s destined to make a statement at the 2024 NFL Draft Combine.


For all the latest updates on Javon Baker’s draft stock, follow Sidelines UCF on Twitter. 


@SSN_UCF



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