2015 NFL DRAFT
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Edwin Baker

| | College: Michigan State
 
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Overview

Baker was highly sought after out of high school and was considered a top-20 running back recruit, choosing Michigan State over Michigan, Texas and Georgia. He took his redshirt off mid-way through the 2009 season as a true freshman and played in eight games, finishing with 427 yards on 85 carries (5.0) and one touchdown. Baker had his best season in 2010 as a sophomore with 12 starts, recording a team-best 1,201 yards (third-best in Big Ten) on 207 attempts and 13 scores, earning first-team All-Big Ten honors. He shared the starting running back duties with Le'Veon Bell in 2011 as a junior (8 starts), finishing second on the team with 665 yards on 170 carries (3.9) and five touchdowns, adding five catches for 60 yards (12.0) and 1 score. After the season, Baker surprised many with his decision to make the jump to the NFL a year early.

Baker burst onto the scene as a true freshman and emerged in 2010 when he took over the starting running back role, rushing for over 1,200 yards with 13 touchdowns. But he took a step back in 2011, losing grasp of the role as the featured runner with only two games of more than 15 carries.

He doesn't have prototypical size and build, but he packed muscle onto his frame and runs with pop. Baker's decision to go pro went under the radar, but NFL teams are fully aware of his game-changing initial burst and quickness -- an ideal change-of-pace back who could thrive in the right secondary role.

Analysis

Strengths: Has a smaller, compact build with adequate thickness throughout his frame. Has shifty footwork with the natural burst and lateral quickness to make defenders miss and turn upfield in a hurry -- tough to tackle in space. Possesses agile feet with the patience, balance and vision to sidestep and elude defenders -- nice job following his blocks and working well in tight areas. Physical at the point of attack and keeps his feet moving through contact to fight and squirm through tackles. Was productive in East Lansing, finishing third in the Big Ten in rushing in 2010, and is a confident and ambitious player.

Weaknesses: Lacks elite size for the position and looks maxed out physically -- also carries some durability concerns. Has short legs with only average top-end speed and can be caught from behind. Not the most instinctive runner and too often tries for the big play, dancing and losing yards. Lacks the natural power to push the pile and feels more comfortable avoiding contact. An inconsistent receiver out of the backfield with suspect concentration and limited experience (only 15 receptions in his MSU career). Needs extensive work as a blocker in the backfield, struggling in pass pro. Also has ball security questions with some costly fumbles over his career. Wasn't nearly as effective in 2011, sharing the running back duties with Le'Veon Bell this past season and struggled to match his production from 2010 -- only one 100+ yd game as a junior after five such performances last year.

NFL Comparison: Javon Ringer, Tennessee Titans

-- Dane Brugler

Career Notes

Three-year letterwinner finished his Spartan career with 2,293 rushing yards on 462 carries (5.0 avg.; 65.5 ypg.) … played in 35 games, including 21 starts … rushed for 19 career touchdowns … had six career 100-yard rushing games.

2011 Season

Ranked second on the team in rushing with 665 yards on 170 carries (47.5 ypg.) and five touchdowns … also had five receptions for 60 yards (12.0 avg.) and one receiving touchdown … compiled 31 rushing yards on nine carries against Wisconsin in the Big Ten Championship Game, including an 8-yard touchdown run in the first quarter … scored two rushing touchdowns and collected 34 yards on the ground on 10 carries against Indiana … had his first career touchdown reception with a diving 17-yard grab in the first quarter at Iowa that put MSU up 14-0 in the eventual 37-21 victory over the Hawkeyes; also rushed for 51 yards on 13 carries (3.9 avg.) … recorded his first 100-yard rushing game of the season and sixth of his career, with 26 carries for 167 yards and a touchdown against Michigan; in two career games against U-M, Baker rushed 48 times for 314 yards (157.0 yards per game) and two TDs … collected 49 yards on 16 carries (3.1 avg.) vs. Central Michigan; named a game captain against the Chippewas … had nine carries for 50 yards (5.6 avg.), including a 9-yard touchdown run, against Florida Atlantic … rushed for 91 yards on 15 carries (6.1 avg.) in season opener against Youngstown State.

2010 Season

True sophomore ranked fourth in the Big Ten and 30th in the nation with his 92.4-yard rushing average (1,201 total yards rushing) … named first-team All-Big Ten by the media and was an honorable mention selection by the coaches … named to Phil Steele's All-Big Ten second team … also named to the CollegeFootballNews.com All-Sophomore second team … became just the sixth sophomore in school history to record a 1,000-yard rushing season (Lorenzo White, 1985; Tico Duckett, 1990; Marc Renaud, 1995; Sedrick Irvin, 1996; T.J. Duckett, 2000) … his 1,201 yards rushing rank 13th in MSU single-season history … had five 100-yard rushing games (Western Michigan: 117; Florida Atlantic: career-high 183; Michigan: 147; Minnesota: 179; Penn State: 118) … averaged 5.8 yards per rush and had 10 rushes of 20-plus yards … ranked eighth in the Big Ten in scoring (6.0 ppg.), including a team-best 13 rushing TDs, which rank 11th most in an MSU season … recipient of the team's Danziger Award (Outstanding Detroit-Area Player, Offense) … midseason addition to the Doak Walker Award Watch List (nation's top running back) and Maxwell Award Watch List (nation's outstanding player) … rushed for 118 yards on a career-high 28 carries, including a 7-yard TD, in the victory at Penn State … rushed for 90 yards on 16 carries (5.6 avg.), including a 19-yard touchdown run, in the win over Purdue … recorded a career-high four rushing touchdowns while gaining 179 rushing yards on 27 carries in win over Minnesota; recorded a 30-yard TD in the first quarter and two of his touchdowns arrived on fourth-and-goal from the 1-yard line.

Averaged 7.3 yards per rush (73 yards on 10 carries) in win at Northwestern, including a 25-yard score with 1:07 remaining in the game to give MSU a 35-27 lead … accumulated 147 yards on the ground on 22 carries (6.7 avg.) in win at No. 18 Michigan, the sixth-highest total for a Spartan against the Wolverines; broke free for a 61-yard TD in the second quarter to give MSU a 7-3 lead; named Spartan Co-Offensive Player of the Week … rushed for a team-high 87 yards on 18 carries (4.8 avg.) in win over No. 11 Wisconsin … collected 59 rushing yards on 11 carries and scored on a 5-yard TD vs. Northern Colorado … ran for 90 yards in overtime win against Notre Dame, including a 56-yard touchdown in the third quarter … produced a career-high 183 yards on just 15 carries (12.2 avg.), including an 80-yard TD run, vs. Florida Atlantic at Ford Field; garnered Spartan Offensive Player of the Week honors and was also named National Running Back Performer of the Week by the College Football Performance Awards … rushed for 117 yards on 17 carries (6.9 avg.) and two touchdowns vs. Western Michigan in the season opener; named Spartan Co-Offensive Player of the Week for his game against the Broncos.

2009 Season

True freshman saw action in eight games in 2009 … ranked second on the team in rushing attempts (85) and rushing yards (427) … produced six runs of at least 20 yards … greatly expanded his role during the second half of the season, averaging 57.1 rushing yards over the last seven games … accounted for 508 all-purpose yards (seven receptions for 43 yards and two kickoff returns for 38 yards) … led the team in rushing in four of the last seven games … recorded a season-high 97 rushing yards on 12 carries (8.1 avg.) and scored his first career touchdown on a 46-yard run in the first quarter vs. Texas Tech in the 2010 Valero Alamo Bowl … his 46-yard scoring run is the longest rushing TD in Spartan bowl history … his 26-yard gain early in the fourth quarter against the Red Raiders led to a 44-yard field goal by Brett Swenson … rushed nine times for a team-high 48 yards (5.3 avg.) vs. No. 13 Penn State … gained 40 yards on seven attempts (5.7 avg.) at Purdue … also had a season-long 23-yard reception against the Boilermakers … recorded a season-high 15 carries for 78 yards (5.2 avg.) in his first career start in Game 10 vs. Western Michigan … rushed 11 times for 68 yards (6.2 avg.) vs. No. 7 Iowa, including a 37-yard run to the Hawkeye 1-yard line … picked up 45 yards on 12 carries vs. Northwestern … sat out five straight games as a potential red-shirt candidate … ran eight times for 27 yards in his collegiate debut vs. Montana State.

High School

Selected to play in the 2009 U.S. Army All-American Bowl, but sat out the game with a knee injury … named to PrepStar's Dream Team … also earned All-America honors from Tom Lemming's Prep Football Report and SuperPrep … rated among the nation's top prospects by MaxPreps.com (No. 31), Tom Lemming's Prep Football Report (No. 35), PrepStar (No. 42), Rivals.com (No. 57), CollegeFootballNews.com (No. 95) and ESPNU (No. 113) … ranked among the nation's top running backs by Tom Lemming (No. 5), Max Emfinger Recruiting (No. 5), Rivals.com (No. 6), Scouts, Inc. (No. 11), CollegeFootballNews.com (No. 11), SuperPrep (No. 15) and Scout.com (No. 20) … listed among the Midwest's top seniors by SuperPrep (No. 15) … rated among the state's top prospects by Rivals.com (No. 2), Lansing State Journal (No. 3), The Detroit News (No. 4) and Detroit Free Press (No. 7) … played for Coach Tim Hopkins at Oak Park (Mich.) High School … carried 77 times for 863 yards (11.2 avg.) as a senior despite missing four games with a hyper-extended knee … ran for 236 yards vs. Southfield Lathrup … gained a career-best 462 yards vs. Royal Oak … rushed 113 times for 1,295 yards (11.5 avg.) and eight touchdowns as a junior … recorded four 200-yard rushing games in 2007, including a season-high 280 yards and two TDs on 29 attempts vs. West Bloomfield … picked up 230 yards and scored twice on 15 carries vs. Troy, including an 81-yard TD run.

Personal

Son of Edwin McDonald and Dashia Baker … born June 1, 1991 … majoring in interdisciplinary studies in social science - human capital and society.

 
Latest News
04/30/2012 - A closer look at the Chargers' picks: Round 7/250 - Edwin Baker, RB, 5-8, 204, Michigan State...The team's final pick went for depth, as Baker could be in line to back up Ryan Mathews. - The Sports Xchange

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