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BlitzburghRockCity
05-03-2007, 06:11 AM
http://www.post-gazette.com/pg/07123/783046-66.stm


Lack of speed triggered Baker's draft-day free fall
Thursday, May 03, 2007

By Ed Bouchette, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

Last weekend's draft was deepest in wide receivers, so that is where the Steelers went -- deep into the draft before they picked one.

But isn't Dallas Baker of Florida kind of interesting? The Steelers selected him in the seventh round of the seven-round draft, No. 227 overall. Those usually are the players first out in training camp cuts, until someone like a Brett Keisel comes along on the seventh round and reminds everyone that those draft picks should not be kissed off -- even if one of them is named after one of their most-hated Super Bowl rivals.

Yes, Dallas Baker was named after the Dallas Cowboys.

"My dad loved the Dallas Cowboys," Baker said moments after the Steelers made him their final draft choice Sunday. "Most of my family members were Cowboys fans. But I would say maybe 20, 30 minutes ago, all that changed."

Good thing family members weren't big New England fans.

The Steelers can use another wide receiver on their roster, and Baker should make a serious play for that spot. He already is among their biggest at 6 feet 3, 206 pounds, and his college resume is outstanding. He led the national champion Gators with 920 yards receiving on 60 catches and scored 10 touchdowns last season.

He ranked second on the team as a junior with 52 receptions.

Big-time production at a big-time school with a big-time frame -- what's not to like? His speed and quickness. He ran a 4.6 at Florida's pro day after running a 4.53 at the combine. Scouts also questioned his desire to go after the ball in a crowd. Perhaps there never were crowds around him because he is ninth on Florida's list with 21 career touchdown catches -- Dallas Baker, the touchdown maker -- among his 151 receptions and 2,236 yards.

"One thing we really liked about Dallas was his touchdown productivity and his size," said Kevin Colbert, the Steelers' director of football operations. "We have a pretty good receiving group, but it's not the biggest group. Sometimes, you'd just like to have another big receiver to go along with the other guys -- maybe as a red-zone guy."

The Steelers already have one of those in 6-5 Heath Miller and drafted another on the third round in 6-7 Matt Spaeth, but there is room on the roster if Baker shows them something from now until September.

Four roster spots at wide receiver are locked up by Hines Ward, Santonio Holmes, Cedrick Wilson and Nate Washington (who made the team, by the way, as an undrafted free agent).

The Steelers kept six on the roster last year, including rookie Willie Reid and special-teamer Sean Morey. Reid is back, Morey is not. They could keep six again, although that sixth spot might be used to keep three tight ends instead.

NFLDraftscout.com predicted Baker would go in the fourth or fifth round.

"I thought I would have gone early on," Baker said. "But, really, I was just looking at it as a blessing and an opportunity. I mean, who wouldn't want to play football for a living? It's something I love to do, so to have an opportunity to play it for a living, I'm just going to take it and run with it."

I can live with 4.5-4.6 speed if he's going to be that productive. We never put THAT much value on speed at WR anyways, opting rather than toughness and good hands. We have a good mix of WR's now on our team so I can't wait to see how the spots below Holmes & Ward pan out.

DIESELMAN
05-03-2007, 07:06 AM
Speed is over rated as it is. All he has to worry about is making the team by showing he can get off the line with no problems, going across the middle and having good hands. His size is definitely an advantage along with having Ward there to teach him. I can't wait till camp starts. :cope:

kgreen
05-03-2007, 08:02 AM
SWEEEET!!! That is called a steal!:tt02:

SteelersWoman
05-03-2007, 08:17 AM
I wouldn't think that Hines is any faster than that, and we sure want him on the field! So I agree, speed isn't the only weapon in an arsenal.

Black@Gold Forever32
05-03-2007, 12:20 PM
Yea Colston was supposed to be to slow last year also to play WR in the NFL. Not saying Baker will be the next Colston. But he has the talent to make the team and contribute as a 4th WR at first. I see him down the road as a solid number 2. Thats just my opinion. Could be wrong but hey he only was a 7th round pick. So really no big loss if he doesn't pan out.

25MVPKing
05-03-2007, 12:54 PM
A Gator named after a Cowboy? :nono:

Well, like you said hands and toughness are the most important. His 7.5:1 catch to TD ratio is nice.

MillerTime83
05-03-2007, 02:18 PM
Maybe he will turn out good and id like to see him make a roster spot, but I really like Nate Washington. His mistakes should be gone this year and i could see him as our 3rd best WR(maybe even 2nd). I like having a speed WR as our 3rd. So unless Baker proves he is better then Nate I say he is 5th best.

K Train
05-03-2007, 03:29 PM
I HATE CEDRIC WILSON

I think baker makes this team....he is colston, to big and slow for a WR, to small for a TE.....he might not get colston #s but he is his clone.

a 4.5 is why he slipped? when jarrett ran a 4.7? Media has a thing for overrating every player from southern cal i guess. Not everyone can run a good 40....gamespeed when your running scared is a whole other kind of speed.

Prosdo
05-03-2007, 03:32 PM
I hope you're right K-Train. I would like to see these young guys break out. Plus Baker is 6-3 while Ced is 5-10. I saw some highlights of Baker and I really liked what I saw.

K Train
05-03-2007, 03:42 PM
Plus Baker is 6-3 while Ced is 5-10..

That means absolutely nothing to me, i could care less about his height...i hate wilson because he sucks lol

Koopa
05-03-2007, 03:47 PM
it's so funny when every time a player comes goes late in the draft and produces from the start every player from that position gets compared to them............ baker is not on colstons level......hell, colston is a product of the saints system, if colston came to pitt, he'd be on the practice squad....... i hope baker makes the team just so we can have more weapons in the redzone, even though we are stacked now with two big *** TE's........

K Train
05-03-2007, 03:53 PM
the colston reference is about as accurate as it gets though. He was timed slow, he never had good workouts...considered to big and slow for a pro WR, and to small for a TE.

Teams liked colston in the 3rd, teams like him in the 4th, in the 5th, in the 6th, but they were afraid to take a chance on him so he slipped to the 7th. I think he benifeted big time form the saints offense and i dont care what anyone says, bush opened up that offense in a big way. But the saints found a quality WR in the 7th round.

This year, late round picks and undrafted guys are gonna have to be measured against colston.....who else would you like us to use? lol

Koopa
05-03-2007, 03:58 PM
i'd like ppl to use no one, and just let these players grow into their own, now and forever wr's taken in the 7th will be compared to colston, just like every qb taken in the 6th will be compared to brady...............................

Friday133
05-03-2007, 04:07 PM
I like Baker, but there is still a reason why a WR on the national champs fell to the 7th round. That's not a good position to be in for him. I think he'll turn out to be another Fred Gibson.

Koopa
05-03-2007, 04:20 PM
naw, he won't be a fred gibson cause fred was drafted in the 4th, so if baker fails to make the team it will be no biggy whereas when fred didn't make the team it was considered a huge waste of a draft pick

Black@Gold Forever32
05-03-2007, 05:28 PM
it's so funny when every time a player comes goes late in the draft and produces from the start every player from that position gets compared to them............ baker is not on colstons level......hell, colston is a product of the saints system, if colston came to pitt, he'd be on the practice squad....... i hope baker makes the team just so we can have more weapons in the redzone, even though we are stacked now with two big *** TE's........

I never said Dallas Baker was at Colston's level. Just bringing up the fact that some of the same knocks on Colston last year are the same on Baker this year. Not once did I say Dallas Baker will be the next Colston are put up numbers like Colston did.

Last year Colston wasn't fast enough to play WR in the NFL. This year the question mark on Dallas Baker is his speed. I'm not comparing the two as players but just using Colston as an example that WRs don't need track speed to play in the NFL.lol For a college boy you think you would understand that?:lol:

BlitzburghRockCity
05-03-2007, 05:32 PM
40 time is overrated because everybody runs faster when they're being chased :lol:

Koopa
05-03-2007, 05:33 PM
I never said Dallas Baker was at Colston's level. Just bringing up the fact that some of the same knocks on Colston last year are the same on Baker this year. Not once did I say Dallas Baker will be the next Colston are put up numbers like Colston did.

Last year Colston wasn't fast enough to play WR in the NFL. This year the question mark on Dallas Baker is his speed. I'm not comparing the two as players but just using Colston as an example that WRs don't need track speed to play in the NFL.lol For a college boy you think you would understand that?:lol:


oh i didn't even know you had posted in here, when i clicked on the thread it took me to k trains post so i was pretty much talking to him......

Black@Gold Forever32
05-03-2007, 05:38 PM
oh i didn't even know you had posted in here, when i clicked on the thread it took me to k trains post so i was pretty much talking to him......

Its cool man and I'm not upset. Was joking around with you. But dude I know its bugs you when people compare players. Its sports and thats what fans do.

I'm not expecting Baker to put up Colston numbers at all. Just saying Colston and TJ Humpshismama have proven that 7th round WRs can make at in the NFL. So all isn't lost for Dallas Baker.:lol:

Koopa
05-03-2007, 05:43 PM
i know dallas ain't lost, but on this team it's hard, those two guys are products of pass happy teams, that's why if the steelers had gotten those two, they'd be in nfl europe or searching for themselves since they just failed in reaching their dream of playing in the nfl........

i hope dallas can make it, cause i hate having a midget wr core sometimes.........

and yeah, i ****ing hate when ppl bring up the 40 times, that's why i loved it when keyshawn kept talking **** to mel everytime he brought it up, it's the most overrated thing to base a player off of, no player runs without pads and in a straight line with no one attempting to hit them in an actual game.........

BlitzburghRockCity
05-03-2007, 05:46 PM
Colbert mentioned on draft day that any WR would have a hard time cracking the group we have so it's not going to be easy..but something tells me they didn't expect Baker to last as long as he did, this kid could really be something special and definitely will give Walter Young a run for his money and might even surprise our other guys too at what he can do. His speed would definitely be an asset on special teams so if nothing else he can play there and then work into some playing time on the spread offense packages.

I hope he kicks some *** for us !

Koopa
05-03-2007, 05:48 PM
lol @ giving walter young a run for his money, walter young is a bum, he's been around for all these years and can't even do a thing, i could give walter young a run for his money :lol:.......baker will easily beat him out if that's his competition..........

Black@Gold Forever32
05-03-2007, 05:52 PM
i know dallas ain't lost, but on this team it's hard, those two guys are products of pass happy teams, that's why if the steelers had gotten those two, they'd be in nfl europe or searching for themselves since they just failed in reaching their dream of playing in the nfl........

i hope dallas can make it, cause i hate having a midget wr core sometimes.........

and yeah, i ****ing hate when ppl bring up the 40 times, that's why i loved it when keyshawn kept talking **** to mel everytime he brought it up, it's the most overrated thing to base a player off of, no player runs without pads and in a straight line with no one attempting to hit them in an actual game.........

I don't know I think Colston is a very good WR. True having Drew Brees and playing in that offense jacks up his stats. But to say he is a product of the system isn't fair. For all we know Colston, could have had success if he had been drafted by another team.


Yes 40 times are over-rated since the players run in their underwear at the combine. Its all about football speed.

K Train
05-03-2007, 05:56 PM
lol walter young is lee mays retarded little brother

Koopa
05-03-2007, 06:00 PM
and for all we know he wouldn't, so i'm just going based on the fact that just about every wr on that team played badass even when colston went down, they didn't really miss a beat, copper had a career year, henderson had a career year, reggie went off, horn did good but got broken, hell he even had a career high in yards per catch............. so that is why i'm saying he's a product of a pass happy system......... he could've turned out good else where, but i think him looking great was cause of the system

Black@Gold Forever32
05-03-2007, 06:07 PM
and for all we know he wouldn't, so i'm just going based on the fact that just about every wr on that team played badass even when colston went down, they didn't really miss a beat, copper had a career year, henderson had a career year, reggie went off, horn did good but got broken, hell he even had a career high in yards per catch............. so that is why i'm saying he's a product of a pass happy system......... he could've turned out good else where, but i think him looking great was cause of the system

I understand all of that and I agree his stats were jacked up since he played in that offense. Just saying I think he still would have had success in the NFL playing for another team. I totally agree if he was another team he wouldn't have had the same stats.

Koopa
05-03-2007, 06:08 PM
and if he came here he would've been a walter young part two, since we didn't have a coach

Black@Gold Forever32
05-03-2007, 06:15 PM
and if he came here he would've been a walter young part two, since we didn't have a coach

Oh, come on don't go that low.:lol: Were talking about Walter Young here.:lol: I'm sure if the Steelers had drafted Colston and in training camp if Colston, had tore it up then Cowher wouldn't have cut Colston or placed him on the practice squad.lol

But then again Cowher, did have Colclough returning punts.:lol:

okiesteeler
05-03-2007, 06:15 PM
If Dallas Baker makes this team, I think part of his contract should be has to change his name to Pittsburgh. We cant have a player named after such a horrible team.

Koopa
05-03-2007, 06:24 PM
If Dallas Baker makes this team, I think part of his contract should be has to change his name to Pittsburgh. We cant have a player named after such a horrible team.

i think it's great that his family is cowboy fans, cause when he makes the team and we go to the superbowl, they are gonna have to cheer for their superbowl rivals......

DIESELMAN
05-03-2007, 07:52 PM
The one thing these late rounders really need to have is heart and the desire to step up their game to make a team. Lots of late rounders are just happy to be drafted by someone, it takes someone special to want a whole helluva lot more. I hope Baker has both of those, once that kicks in he shouldn't have a problem making the team.

Black@Gold Forever32
05-03-2007, 07:53 PM
The one thing these late rounders really need to have is heart and the desire to step up their game to make a team. Lots of late rounders are just happy to be drafted by someone, it takes someone special to want a whole helluva lot more. I hope Baker has both of those, once that kicks in he shouldn't have a problem making the team.

:clap:A solid a very good post from the Dieselman as usual.:bigthumb:

K Train
05-03-2007, 07:56 PM
i think he makes it, as a 5th WR at the very least, which he will still play since we are supposedly going to go 4 WR alot...its not gonna take much to beat out Walter Young...and please just cut wilson or trade him for a undrafted FA....something with at least a little value lol