A topic of discussion this offseason among fans has been the upcoming NFL draft and our first round pick. Many have different opinions when it comes to addressing the needs of the team with that pick. From running backs like Dalvin cook or Leonard Fournette or Wr’s Corey Davis and John Ross, too tight ends, O.J. Howard or David Njoku. Some have even made the case that drafting an offensive lineman, guard or tackle, could also be a solid pick at 19th.
However, one of the biggest needs fans see is for a solid safety. Strong safety Jabrill Peppers and free safety Budda Baker pop up most frequently.
Budda Baker, from Washington, is a big talent and is most often compared to the Cardinals safety, Tyrann Mathieu. But recently, Baker himself has compared himself to that of former Bucs star Ronde Barber. Baker while talented as any safety you want, those are some mighty big shoes to fill with either comparison.
Baker and Barber are similar in build, both are the same height, at 5′ 10″ but Ronde was 192lbs as Baker is 200lbs, however, as a Bucs fan, I have to wonder if those could be the only comparisons.
Baker compared himself to the Bucs All-Star DB, saying that Barber can play any secondary position, and he feels he can do the same. That assessment may come from his former coach at Washington, Jimmy Lake, who also was a DB assistant in Tampa in 2006 and 2007. He saw Ronde first hand and coached a lot of the same style defense as was coached in Tampa at that time.
Whether or not Baker is Barberesque or not is yet to be determined, where ever he lands. Considering the comparison cannot be seen on tape makes me wonder if Baker is just fishing to be drafted by Tampa. Either way, it would be a win-win in most Bucs fans book. I, on the other hand, am skeptical.