Miami Dolphins

With Baker in fold, Dolphins linebackers will be fast, but not very big in 2018

Jerome Baker became the second Ohio State linebacker selected by the Dolphins in as many years.
Jerome Baker became the second Ohio State linebacker selected by the Dolphins in as many years. Miami Herald Wire Image

The Dolphins grabbed Ohio State outside linebacker Jerome Baker in Round 3, addressing a significant deficiency — but in a roundabout way.

The Dolphins needed a strong-side linebacker after cutting Lawrence Timmons. Enter Baker, who tipped the scales at just 229 pounds at the NFL Scouting Combine.

So the Dolphins lose a little size in the transaction, but gain a ton of defensive speed — which has been the point of the weekend. Like Minkah Fitzpatrick, the Dolphins' first-round pick, Baker can fly.

He ran a 4.53-second 40 at the Combine — which is in the 89th percentile for his position. He also broad jumped 126 inches and his vertical was 36 1/2 inches.

The Miami Dolphins picked Jerome Baker to play as a linebacker in Round 3 of the 2018 NFL Draft. GM Chris Grier talks to the media.

Grier said that 250-pound linebackers "are the way of the dinosaur," but between Raekwon McMillan (248 pounds) and Kiko Alonso (233), the Dolphins have ample size at the position.

"We want to get faster at the position," Grier added, calling Baker a prototypical "new-age" linebacker .

So who's the SAM? Stay tuned.

"I’m a player that can play anywhere," Baker said. "I make plays, so it doesn’t really matter where you put me at. You’re going to feel my impact."

"Versatile, tough, fast," Baker added. "I’m just a dynamic player. I’m the whole package, for sure."

He becomes the second OSU linebacker taken by the Dolphins in as many years. The Dolphins took Raekwon McMillan in Round 2 a year ago; Baker said McMillan was a mentor in college.

Baker was honorable mention all-Big Ten in 2017. He led the Buckeyes with 72 tackles (eight for loss) and also had 3 1/2 sacks.

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