Friday, January 6, 2012

AP: Edwin Baker to declare for NFL Draft

This according to Larry Lage of The Associated Press.

This certainly comes as a surprise. After saying before the season his goal was 2,000 yards and 20 touchdowns, Baker finished with just 665 yards and five touchdowns on 170 carries, clearly finishing the season as the No. 2 back behind Le'Veon Bell. In 2010, he had 1,201 yards and 13 touchdowns and was an All-Big Ten selection, leading to his lofty goals for 2011.

Baker does have a 1-year-old son, but told Joe Rexrode of the LSJ that Edwin Jr. was not a primary factor, just saying he felt he was ready.

With Bell's emergence, people wouldn't have been shocked if Baker transferred. But entering the draft seemed to come out of nowhere.

Given the fact that running backs have some of the shortest careers among NFL players, leaving college when their stock is the highest is always understandable. Perhaps Baker felt his stock would only decrease if he played college next season or sat out a year. John Clay of Wisconsin made a similar decision after the 2010 season when Montee Ball and James White clearly were going to take over.

As for that stock, I don't imagine it's very high. He's undersized at 5-foot-9 and doesn't have a good ability to make people miss. He has a good burst, but he got the nickname "Rock" for a reason. He takes a lot of hits. But best of luck to him.

What does this mean for MSU? As mentioned before. Le'Veon Bell is going to be a junior and should be one of the best running backs in the Big Ten. Behind Bell, Larry Caper is going to be a senior and would appear to get more carries, instead of just being the third-down back. Nick Hill, who just finished his freshman season, has shown a good ability in the open field as a kick returner.

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