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NFL Draft

Patriots Pick Javon Baker at No. 110 in the 2024 NFL Draft



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)

The New England Patriots offense struggled mightily in the 2023 season. Clearly improving that side of the ball was a preference for Eliot Wolf and company in the 2024 NFL Draft. For the fifth selection in a row they picked an offensive player. With selection No. 110 overall in Round 4, the Patriots picked 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 had 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 on Patriots Football Now.

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.

Patriots Wide Reciever Room

Javon Baker joins what has suddenly become a crowded wide receiver room in Foxboro. In addition to Javon Baker and second-round pick Ja’Lynn Polk, the New England Patriots have veterans Kendrick Bourne, DeMario Douglas, JuJu Smith-Schuster, Tyquan Thornton, Kayshon Boutte, Jalen Reagor, T.J. Luther, and Kawaan Baker. There will be a lot of competition in training camp for a unit that needed a boost from last season.

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