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Vikings 2024 NFL draft scouting report: UCF WR Javon Baker

Welcome to SKOL Search!

This series will be your guide to the 2024 draft class. From scouting reports to mock drafts and exploring different scenarios, we will be covering the NFL draft and the future of the Minnesota Vikings from all angles.

The focus of the draft class in this space will be on the Vikings’ major needs at quarterback, running back, defensive line and edge rusher. We will also focus on wide receiver since it’s a loaded class and an increased chance to get a Stefon Diggs-type steal in the later rounds.

The Vikings are slated to have 9 picks going into the NFL draft and they need to make the most out of them.

Background

USA Today Sports
USA Today Sports

Javon Baker

  • UCF

  • Transfer from Alabama

  • Height-6013

  • Weight-208 lbs

  • Fourth-year Senior

  • 4-Star recruit per 247 Sports

  • Stats: 196 targets, 117 receptions, 2,051 yards, 17.5 YPR, 13 touchdowns, 12 rush, 17 yards

  • Games watched: North Carolina 2023, Georgia 2023, Florida 2023, Mississippi State 2023

Strengths

Mike Watters-USA TODAY Sports
Mike Watters-USA TODAY Sports

Baker does a great job at the catch point. Attacks the football in the air and displays tremendous body control in the air. He makes attacking the football look easy and seamless. 22/39 in contested catch situation

Baker is a tenacious blocker. He gets after it down the field, driving defenders out of the play with consistency.

Route running shows some nuance. Baker knows how to break with both speed and dropping his hips, creating separation.

Does a really good job after the catch. Has great vision in the open field and maneuvers around defenders.

Weaknesses

USA Today Sports
USA Today Sports

Drops are an issue for Baker, as are inconsistent hands. Too often the ball will hit his hands when trying to catch te ball away from his frame. Baker has 15 drops in his career (11.4%) per PFF.

Baker is really good at winning vertically, but his speed is somewhat limited. Could end up being a detriment to his game at the next level.

Can Baker win in press coverage at the next level? He shows some struggles on tape and will only face better cornerbacks in the NFL.

Overview

Jasen Vinlove-USA TODAY Sports
Jasen Vinlove-USA TODAY Sports

Hands

7.1/10

Release

7.9/10

Route Running

8.0/15

Separation

12.1/15

Contested Catches

8.3/10

Tracking

8.3/10

Body Control

8.4/10

YAC Ability

8.0/10

Agility

7.4/10

Grade

75.5/100 Third Round

Baker is a contested catch maven who thrives at attaching the catch point. One of the big issues is the lack of vertical speed to be able to win consistently on a vertical plane. Baker might be best in a power slot role with lots of YAC opportunities.

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Story originally appeared on Vikings Wire