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Redskins draft countdown: Washington safety Budda Baker

Redskins draft countdown: Washington safety Budda Baker

Redskins draft countdown

The NFL draft is 65 days away and there is plenty of speculation as to what players Scot McCloughan will select to wear the burgundy and gold. Between now and the draft we’ll look at some of the players who might be of interest to the Redskins and discuss how they might fit in Washington.

Budda Baker
Safety
Washington

Height: 5-10
Weight: 180
40-yard dash: TBD

Projected draft round: 1

What they’re saying

Tremendously explosive and passionate in his play. Former high school track sprinter with good play speed. Screams off the edge as a blitzer. Always bouncing on balls of his feet just waiting to race to the action on a dead sprint. Plays with smooth backpedal and diagonal shuffle. Has a shiftiness that allows him to mirror change of direction in space . . . Scouts use terms like "winner" and "top notch person" to describe him.

Lance Zierlein, NFL.com

How he fits the Redskins: This doesn’t take a whole lot of explaining. The Redskins have not had a reliable pair of safeties since they lost Sean Taylor 10 years ago. Su’a Cravens is moving into the strong safety spot. A pick line Baker could solidify the position for years to come.

His passion for the game is a big resume enhancer for McCloughan. He wants players who love football and Baker appears to fit that mold.

Baker plays fast, as in fast enough to cover slot receivers when called upon. McCloughan doesn’t much care for 40 times; he will judge a player’s speed off the tape. But it will be interesting to see how Baker runs at the combine.

At Washington, they sent him after the quarterback on occasion and I could see the Redskins doing that as well. Baker had three sacks last season and in a game I watched him play against USC he had two quarterback hurries that led to interceptions by his teammates.

Potential issues: At 5-10, 180 he is on the small side for a safety, at least one that McCloughan might prefer. His size gives him trouble if he must tackle a tight end or a big running back.

His play against the run is inconsistent. At times, he takes bad angles, can’t get off blocks and misses tackles. But at other times he sniffs out a play and makes a tackle in the backfield.  

Baker might grade out to be more of a late first- or early second-round pick. McCloughan will stick to his draft board for the most part and if the value isn’t there in his opinion he could bypass Baker in favor of a higher graded player despite the need. Or perhaps he can execute a trade and end up with Baker with a pick somehwere in the twenties. 

Bottom line: Right now Baker is Mike Mayock’s fourth-ranked safety. Malik Hooker of Ohio State and Jamal Adams of LSU are likely to be gone by the time the 17th pick is on the clock. Jabrill Peppers, Mayock’s No. 3 safety, is too similar to Cravens and many think he might be a better fit on offense. If they want to get a first-round safety it appears that Baker is the guy.

Certainly, Baker’s size will give McCloughan pause. They can bulk him up some but he could have a problem carrying as many as 200 pounds. Not only could he have problems dealing with bigger players, he could deal with injury problems.

In Baker’s NFL.com profile they compare him to former Colts safety Bob Sanders. Every season in which Sanders played more than 10 games he was a first-team All-Pro. Problem was, he only managed to play in double-digit games in two seasons. The Redskins will be wary of the possibility of getting bursts of great play from someone like Baker with some stints on injured reserve. 

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Charley Casserly learned a lot from the late Bobby Mitchell

Charley Casserly learned a lot from the late Bobby Mitchell

As the Washington Redskins family continues to mourn the passing of the legendary Bobby Mitchell, former GM Charley Casserly weighed in on how much he took away from knowing Mitchell.

“Bobby Mitchell was a dear friend and mentor to me during my time with the Washington Redskins,” Casserly begins. “He took me under his wing. He taught me scouting.”

Casserly first met Mitchell when the former was just an intern getting his start in the business. Rather than push him aside, Mitchell imparted upon Casserly the importance of attitude and demeanor.

“He taught me how to be a professional in the workplace,” the former GM continued. “He cared about people in the community. That’s what, to me, separated him from many other people.”

Mitchell’s longest-lasting impact is his role as one of the first players of color to integrate the Redskins back in 1962, but his role as a mentor and friend to so many in the Washington area lives on as well.

As Casserly says, Mitchell is sorely missed already.

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Brian Mitchell was 'truly impressed' by Redskins legend Bobby Mitchell: Great football player, better human being

Brian Mitchell was 'truly impressed' by Redskins legend Bobby Mitchell: Great football player, better human being

Hall of Famer Bobby Mitchell died on Sunday at the age of 84, according to the Pro Football Hall of Fame.

Mitchell, who became the first black player on the Redskins when he was traded to Washington in 1962, had a significant impact on another former Redskin, Brian Mitchell, both on and off the field. 

“He was a great football player but I think 25,000 times more of a human being,” said Brian, who was drafted by the Redskins in 1990. 

As Brian grew closer with the Hall of Famer, he was especially impressed by his efforts to fight for equality in the African American community.

“I knew that he was the first African American to come to D.C. and play, but then when I began to find out more about him he was the guy that was out there fighting, a social activist, doing things to help out our black community, which truly truly impressed me,” Brian expressed.

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Brian took great pride in not only knowing the Hall of Famer but having the same last name. 

“I remember someone asking if I was a relative and he said 'no.' And then he told me, he said ‘every time you ran another touchdown, I was like he’s a cousin. Oh, that’s my boy, that’s my son,” Brian said. 

To this day Brian strives to be as influential as Bobby was.

“This one man who did so much had so much impact on so many people throughout this community, it said a lot to me. He’s going to be sorely missed. We love you Bobby, take care,” Brian said.

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