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NFL Draft

New England Patriots Top 30 Visit: UCF WR Javon Baker



Patriots draft target, Central Florida wide receiver Javon Baker (1) runs after catching a pass during the second half of an NCAA college football game against Louisville on Friday, Sept. 9, 2022, in Orlando, Fla. (AP Photo/Phelan M. Ebenhack)

Every NFL franchise is allowed to invite up to 30 draft prospects to visit their facilities and meet with the members of the organization before the NFL Draft. These selections range from first-round targets to players who might be available as undrafted free agents. As news about the New England Patriots Top 30 visits surface, Patriots Football Now will highlight each of the visitors. Today’s feature, UCF wide receiver Javon Baker.

College Career

Javon Baker ranked as a four-star prospect coming out of McEachern High School in Georgia.. His composite ranks (via 247 Sports) placed him as the No. 203 prospect in the country, No. 35 wide receiver, and No. 21 player from Georgia in the Class of 2020.

Baker committed to Alabama. He appeared in eight games as a true freshman. The Alabama Crimson Tide won the National Championship that season. He played in 11 games for Alabama in 2021 but finished with only seven receptions for 101 yards and one touchdown. Baker entered the transfer portal following the season. He originally committed to Kentucky but opted to transfer to the University of Central Florida.

Javon Baker blossomed following his transfer to UCF. He caught 56 passes in 2022, amassing 796 yards and five touchdowns. He broke out in 2023. Baker finished with 52 receptions for 1,139 yards and seven scores. His 21.9 yards-per-reception average ranked second nationally. He was named first-team All-Big 12 Conference.

Pro Football Focus graded Baker’s 2023 performance as a solid 82.9. He had six drops on the season but made the most of his receptions.

NFL Draft

Javon Baker stood out during the Senior Bowl week of practice. He consistently made plays against some of the top defensive back prospects. What stood out was Baker’s body control, as he never seemed off-balance, regardless of the situation.

Baker measured 6-foot-1 and weighed 202 pounds at the NFL Scouting Combine. He ran a 4.54 40-yard dash. He possesses good size for the NFL already, but putting on additional muscle would benefit Baker at the next level.

The Knights receiver needs to use his hands more to avoid drops at the next level. His athleticism enabled Baker to get open, but his routes can be run more crisply and will need to be in the pros. There is no reason to believe he’s not capable of doing so.

Draft projections have Baker being selected anywhere from Round 3 to Round 5. He went to the Atlanta Falcons in the fourth round (No. 109 overall) on the recent seven-round NFL Mock Draft here.

Eliot Wolf has declared that the New England Patriots are looking to “weaponize” their offense. Jerod Mayo explained that as getting players that other teams need to plan for. A wide receiver who averaged nearly 22 yards-per-reception in Javon Baker could be a good way to add just that.

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