Film Don't Lie | Tosh Baker

May 8, 2019
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Tosh Baker‍ was always one of the most important recruits on the board for the Irish this cycle. He became even more important with them losing out on some other offensive line targets who chose other programs in the last couple of weeks.

Notre Dame fans, and the coaching staff, can breathe a sigh of relief with Baker announcing his commitment today. They had a critical need at left tackle in this class and they landed one of the top tackles in the 2020 class.

I believe he can be an elite player at the college level and is a candidate to continue the recent tradition of outstanding play from the left tackle position for the Irish.

Height: 6’8”

Weight: 275

Projected Position: Left tackle

ISD Grade: 92 (4-star)

National Average Grade: 94.4 (4-star)

What he does best:

Baker is such a great prospect because he is an easy mover. Plenty of left tackles in college football have the ideal size to play, but not the feet. He looks effortless in when he has to vertically set in pass protection and slides smoothly. To top it off, he displays a good punch and uses his length to in a way that not enough tall tackles like him do.

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It’s not difficult to see how his experience as a basketball player helps him on the football field. His ability to change direction, stay balanced, and mirror pass rushers is excellent.

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He’s in the highest tier as an athlete for the position. Baker has the tools to be great as a puller and in the screen game. He can get down the field and make that extra block and won’t be overwhelmed having to block linebackers at the second level.

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On that last play he gets he knocks the defender on the ground because the play was not over. That’s one thing I saw more from him towards the latter part of his junior season. He was finishing blocks and playing nastier than he was earlier in the year.

There were plays like this where he blocked his man through the whistle.

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The main reason why I bumped him up from a 90 to a grade of 92 after rewatching his film was the improvement he showed in the final five games of the year. He looked like a different player as a run blocker. I saw more of the mentality he’ll need to be a strong run blocker at the next level, even if he still has a lot of work to do with that part of his game.

What he needs to improve:

One area he is lacking is functional power. Some of that has to do with his weight (and he has gained since the season), but the biggest part of it is that he doesn’t have that explosive hip snap to pop defenders at the point of attack.

Baker needs to fight against power better as a pass blocker as well. I could see him struggling initially to handle edge rushers that can convert speed to power because I didn’t see him anchor well against the bull rush.

Being 6’8”, pad level and the leverage he’ll need to play with as a run blocker has to be better. He clearly can bend and that’s not an issue, but he’s like a lot of guys who are taller who play too tall at times.

What’s his ceiling?

I mentioned that he got better as the season progressed. Not just better, but meaner. That’s a great indication of the player he can become as an above average run blocker.

He’s already shown the ability and athletic traits that suggest he can be an elite blindside protector of the quarterback. This is someone who could end up being a first round pick by the time he leaves Notre Dame if he reaches his full potential.

Ronnie Stanley, also a former basketball player in high school, is a good Notre Dame comparison for his future. Washington State’s Andre Dillard, a first round pick of the Philadelphia Eagles last month, is also someone I see as a similar comparison for Baker’s ceiling in college.

BREAKING | 2020 FOUR-STAR OL TOSH BAKER COMMITS TO NOTRE DAME
2020 RECRUITING | WHAT NOW?

 
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