Our positional breakdown for the Miami Dolphins’ 2020 roster continues with a look at Jerome Baker. What can we expect from the third-year linebacker?
Linebacker has, for years, been an issue that the Dolphins have struggled to solve. That, however, seems to be a thing this coaching staff under Brian Flores has tried desperately to fix. Miami spent big on a number of defensive players including Kyle Van Noy, Kamu Grugier-Hill, and Elandon Roberts. Realistically, Van Noy is the only one who is going to be playing consistent snaps which means Miami will turn to last year’s linebacking group to continue to develop into quality players.
Jerome Baker fits that mold perfectly.
The third-year linebacker had a solid year in 2019, finishing with 126 tackles, 1.5 sacks, 2 forced fumbles, and an interception playing almost all (97%) of defensive snaps (stats courtesy of Pro-Football-Reference). By all accounts, Baker showed that he can compete at the highest level and can help against both the run and the pass.
The biggest question, however, isn’t necessarily about Baker himself but how Brian Flores will use him in addition to some of the other linebackers on the team. Realistically, it makes the most sense, given his sideline to sideline capabilities, to see Baker on the field a lot alongside newcomer Kyle Van Noy. Knowing that Miami could run a variety of defensive schemes ranging from a 3-4 to a 5-2, I think it would be a safe expectation that Baker plays over 90% of snaps next season.
Baker has shown that he is a quality player. I would like to see his sack numbers go up for next season. In reality, though, putting together a season like he did last year would be a welcome sight for a team that has struggled with linebackers putting together decent consecutive seasons in the last few years.