As we continue our look at the Dolphins roster, today we look at the defensive side of the ball with linebacker, Jerome Baker. The second year player is coming off a good rookie season and expectations should be high as he improves in his second year with a head coach that believes in him.
The Dolphins selected Baker in the third round out of Ohio State and was reunited with former teammate, Raekwon McMillan. Baker appeared in all 16 games last season and started in 11 of them. He recorded 79 tackles, 3 sacks, and one interception.
Signed a four year contract worth $3,809,200 and received a $975,200 signing bonus ; Salary cap number $3,809,200 (via OverTheCap.com).
Why he will progress
Rookies typically show improvement heading into their second year and there is optimism about the second year linebacker. Brian Flores has praised Baker all offseason and believes the young player provides a ton of versatility on defense. Baker has bulked up and is expected to be doing a ton of different things, hence the word versatile. He is young and can be molded by the new coaching staff, to become the player they envision.
Why he might regress
Maybe Baker struggles to pick up the new system set up by Flores and Patrick Graham and being asked to do too many things is too much for him. He did allow 39 completions, out of 49, in coverage last season and that was considered his strength coming out of college. He needs to improve in that area.
Chances of making the 53-man roster
Baker is making the team, 100%. The new coaching staff loves the versatility he could bring to the defense as a young, athletic linebacker.