New England Patriots’ best sleeper draft pick: Javon Baker, WR, UCF

The Patriots have been trying in vain since Randy Moss was in his prime to find receivers who could separate from coverage, and the lack of those receivers was one reason New England’s offense was a trouble spot in Bill Belichick’s final few seasons. Now, there’s new blood up top with general manager Eliot Wolf and head coach Jerod Mayo, and evidently, a different way of scouting receivers. The Pats got Washington’s Ja’Lynn Polk with the 37th overall pick in the second round, and they doubled down with a great value in UCF’s Javon Baker with the 110th pick in the fourth round.

At 6′ 1¼” and 202 pounds, Baker is a big receiver with the ability to use his speed to take the top off opposing defenses. Last season for the Knights, he caught 15 passes of 20 or more air yards on 30 targets for 574 yards and four touchdowns. And at that size, Baker has no issue going for contested catches.

“We have leaders on the offensive side of the ball, and I would also say some of the additions, K.J. [Osborn] even Kendrick Bourne, those guys provide some leadership in that room,” Mayo said of the Baker pick, and the need for young alphas on offense. “At the same time, we wanted to draft good players, and you can’t help but turn on a UCF game and see that this guy really loves ball, the way he runs, the way he’s able to run routes. He’s just a good player.”

Story originally appeared on Touchdown Wire