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Javon Bakers joins rebuilt Patriots passing game

By Jared Smola | Updated on Sat, 27 Apr 2024, 12:40 PM EDT

The Patriots selected UCF WR Javon Baker in Round 4 of the NFL Draft. Baker’s college journey began at Alabama, where he arrived as a four-star recruit. Meaningful production simply didn’t follow. From 2020-2021, the Georgia native tallied only 9 catches (19 games). He entered the transfer portal in January of 2022 and landed at UCF that June. Right away, he led the Knights in yards (796) while finishing second in catches (56) and TDs (5). Baker’s production hit new highs last fall (52-1,139-7) as he played more of a downfield role. His aDOT finished at 17.1, while he also averaged 7.2 yards after catch per reception. Baker’s 3.21 yards per route run should also open eyes. That ranked eighth among 78 WRs with 80+ targets. Baker doesn’t always show plus speed on tape, but at 6’1, 207, he does a nice job in contested situations. We’ll just have to keep an eye on his hands. For his career, Baker dropped 15 passes for an 11.4% drop rate. The rookie joins a rebuilding Patriots offense that’s also added QB Drake Maye and WR Ja’Lynn Polk so far in this draft. There’s certainly opportunity for Baker to earn a 2024 role, although he’s only worth a shot in deep best-ball drafts for now. Longer term, he could develop into a top-2 option for New England.

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Jared Smola, Lead Analyst
Jared has been with Draft Sharks since 2007. He’s now Lead Analyst, heading up the preseason and weekly projections that fuel your Draft War Room and My Team tools. He currently ranks 1st among 133 analysts in draft rankings accuracy.
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