By Will Reeve Jr.
Former Ohio State linebacker Jerome Baker is about as versatile as a linebacker as the Raiders could hope for in the 2018 NFL Draft.
Baker played the outside linebacker position technically for the Buckeyes, but he is a legitimate three-down linebacker who is just as adept in coverage as he is rushing the passer. In today’s NFL, it’s high demand for obvious reasons.
The former Ohio State product is a rangy 6-foot-1 and 225 pounds with natural playmaking ability and good sideline-to-sideline speed. But that doesn’t mean Baker isn’t strong, though he may not impress at the 2018 NFL Scouting Combine on the bench press. Just like speed, there is a big difference between measurable strength and football strength.
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Baker’s surprising strength for his size is what allowed him to move around the Buckeyes’ defense like he did, but his most significant assets remain his playmaking ability and speed.
Baker finished 2017 with 72 tackles (42 solo), eight tackles for loss, 3.5 sacks, three passes defensed, two forced fumbles, one fumble recovery and one...