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If Baker Stays Healthy, Is Ot In The 1St Still A Good Idea?


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I know everyone has their reservations about the play of Sam Baker. It's far from perfect and doesnt inspire a huge degree of loyalty. But if you have truly been paying attention, you would know that when healthy, Baker is a good LT. He's dealt with chronic injuries that have reduced his effectiveness. But he is talented and young, with more than enough time to bounce back.

Now we have seen a great deal of post about him NOT returning to form. But let's frame this post (and it's responses....please) from a standpoint of him coming back and improving due to the tutelage of Mike Tice.

How does that impact our draft?

Wouldn't selecting Matthews at #6 be counterproductive?

Would it influence us to go DE/OLB in the 1st?

Or would we be more inclined to do what is necessary for Robinson and create a Top 5 O-line?

I personally would vote against OT in the 1st. But I can understand the Robinson crowd. Point is, several posters seem to be considering Baker to be a lost cause instead of actually considering the fact that he could return to 2012 form and allow us to re-evaluate how we should use the #6 pick. My worst nightmare is that we draft Jake Matthews and Sam Baker returns to form. That would force us to play someone out of position OR put either the #6 pick or a player making 50+ mil on the bench. This possibility should be discussed more often as given our new coach and improvement already the O-line could be much better with a healthy Baker.

Edited by MD-FalconFan13
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RT is still basically a crap shoot with unproven players. Johnson has been in the league 4 years. Hurt two, inactive one and a jumbo TE most of the other. Shraeder is a small school kid with potential. Carimi is an veritable unknown, but was injured and is now on his third team. So to say RT doesn't need help would be selling it short a little. Morgan Moses in the second would be a good idea. Unless Tice thinks we have.it covered with the "players" we have.

I'm all for a pass rusher in the first. But I'd ratherbuse logic and draft an OT. This question literally hinges on Tice.

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If an OT is the best player available, yes its worth it. We could use an upgrade on the right side and Matthews would provide that. He'd also provide insurance with upside for LT, and a long term solution at LT which would free up cap space after next year.

I think pass rush is a bigger concern but if the premium pass rush options arent there and either of the top 2 tackles ARE there, we'd do well to take one of them.

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RT is still basically a crap shoot with unproven players. Johnson has been in the league 4 years. Hurt two, inactive one and a jumbo TE most of the other. Shraeder is a small school kid with potential. Carimi is an veritable unknown, but was injured and is now on his third team. So to say RT doesn't need help would be selling it short a little. Morgan Moses in the second would be a good idea. Unless Tice thinks we have.it covered with the "players" we have.

I'm all for a pass rusher in the first. But I'd ratherbuse logic and draft an OT. This question literally hinges on Tice.

Thanx bro. I agree, aside from Johnson was pulling away from the crowd in OTAs and pre season. But he and all you stated are projects. Question is, what do we do with all those projects if we draft an heir apparent?

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Moot point, as you have to make the decision on OT before knowing if Baker stays healthy.

Seriously. And why would we count on Baker being healthy? He's barely average in the few games in which he IS healthy. I don't expect us to be in a position to be able to draft a top LT again any time soon. Now's the time to get one. Anyone we get later would be a RT only, and we'd try to force them to play LT down the line, and be disappointed. This "Healthy Baker" is a fictional character.

I'd love a great pass rusher, but unlike LT, you can get GOOD pass rushers in the second, 3rd, and potentially beyond. Also, now that we have a block eater for the center of the DL, I'm interested to see how our pass rushers that we've already drafted produce.

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If an OT is the best player available, yes its worth it. We could use an upgrade on the right side and Matthews would provide that. He'd also provide insurance with upside for LT, and a long term solution at LT which would free up cap space after next year.

I think pass rush is a bigger concern but if the premium pass rush options arent there and either of the top 2 tackles ARE there, we'd do well to take one of them.

So no trade down if the top pass rushers are picked? That would be my 1b. Then option 2 if trade down is impossible goes exactly the way you stated.

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Thanx bro. I agree, aside from Johnson was pulling away from the crowd in OTAs and pre season. But he and all you stated are projects. Question is, what do we do with all those projects if we draft an heir apparent?

Keep the best ones for depth and let the rest of them go.

Its highly unlikely that we have 4 future pro bowl RTs on the roster right now. If we let Carimi go and got burned when we went somewhere else and started playing good football, we'd have to live with it.

If we draft Matthews/Robinson, I'm pretty sure we'd start

Baker

Blalock

Hawley

Asamoah

Matthews/Robinson

With Konz, Holmes, Schraeder, Carimi and Johnson as depth (give or take). That would turn a weakness into a relative strength, assuming Baker stays healthy. If he doesnt, Matthews slides over the LT, Johnson slides in at RT and we're still ok (if not better).

If we drafted Robinson and Baker were to get hurt, I'd expect Holmes to get the first bite at LT while Robinson would stay on the right for a year.

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"Returning to form". His form has been injury prone and inconsistent. It is his contract that impacts a potential choice of OT.

Wasn't it his play in 2012 that impacted his contract? He played well in 2012, prompting TD (however wise/unwise......alright, mostly unwise) to sign him. Got to admit he can play when healthy.

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So no trade down if the top pass rushers are picked? That would be my 1b. Then option 2 if trade down is impossible goes exactly the way you stated.

Eh. I guess it depends on how far down.

I'd be disappointed if we turned #6 into a mid 20s unless the haul was substantial.

If we have a chance to take one of the 4 blue chippers available at a position of need, we need to take advantage of it. Unless we got floored by an offer.

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Wasn't it his play in 2012 that impacted his contract? He played well in 2012, prompting TD (however wise/unwise......alright, mostly unwise) to sign him. Got to admit he can play when healthy.

He got his contract because we painted ourselves into a corner in FA last year, and weren't in draft position to reliably get a replacement.

"When healthy" I can barely see as a hypothetical, because I don't think we'll ever again see "Healthy Baker."

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Seriously. And why would we count on Baker being healthy? He's barely average in the few games in which he IS healthy. I don't expect us to be in a position to be able to draft a top LT again any time soon. Now's the time to get one. Anyone we get later would be a RT only, and we'd try to force them to play LT down the line, and be disappointed. This "Healthy Baker" is a fictional character.

I'd love a great pass rusher, but unlike LT, you can get GOOD pass rushers in the second, 3rd, and beyond. Also, now that we have a block eater for the center of the DL, I'm interested to see how our pass rushers that we've already drafted produce.

I'd still prefer a 1/2 punch of real pass rushers. I think we have a group of complementary pass rushers, but need real threats to maximize the value locked away in all the other defensive additions.

Hoping a young kid will emerge from the roster as a great pass rusher, is an even bigger gamble than banking on Baker.

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Holmes will be LT by seasons end, baker has been healthy one out of six seasons.

That's a 17% chance he remains healthy this year, those are not the odds you gamble a season on or you QB's health.

I get the QB health point. But we can't automatically convince ourselves Baker WILL be hurt anymore than we can automatically assume Julio WILL stay healthy. Its a slippery slope.

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