Washington safety and 2016 NCAA consensus All-American Budda Baker believes when teams watch his game film, they'll see his potential as a future NFL ballhawk.
Despite being one of the smaller defensive back prospects in the 2017 NFL Draft, Budda Baker's passion for the game has never been in question.
"I would always talk about how I love football and I just love the passion for the football, passion for the game," Baker said at the NFL Scouting Combine in Indianapolis last month. "Whether that is watching film, in practice, or definitely on the game field I just try to express that and they understand and see that on film.
Ever since arriving on the college football scene, Baker has been one of the best defensive backs in the country. He was a starter in Washington's secondary from Day One, and continued to impress throughout his collegiate career.
Baker had a spectacular year as a freshman in 2014, finishing with 80 tackles along with six passes defensed and an interception.
He would live up to heightened expectations in 2015, as he was a first-team All-Pac-12 selection.
As a junior in 2016, Baker totaled two interceptions, five passes defended and 70 tackles, earning first-team All-Pac-12 honors yet again. Out of those team-leading 70 tackles, 9.5 of them from behind the line of scrimmage which is something that Baker wants people to focus on when his 5-foot-10, 195 pound frame is in question.
"I can't really get mad really," he said. "God made me this height and all I can say is watch the film. We always talk about how the film will set you free so no matter how tall you are, how big you are, if you watch the film everything will take care of itself."
And his film is something that he says many teams have been impressed by when looking at his overall potential as a prospect.
"They just said they like my film whether it's free safety, nickel," Baker said. "They feel like I can rush off the edge, play man, make open field tackles. They just ask me what I want to play."
The Washington product has been regarded as one of the best ball-hawking safeties in the draft and often lined up at centerfield to allow him to work sideline-to-sideline, much like the Seattle's Earl Thomas, someone he trained with this offseason.
"He watched me do my DB drills and he helped me out with some little things and all that type of stuff," Baker said.
Baker's pre-draft preparations were noticeable at the Huskies Pro Day and he was a top performer at the combine earlier this month -- 4.45 seconds 40-yard dash and a 4.08 seconds 20-yard shuttle run.
According to Budda Baker's draft profile, he is comparable to former Colts safety Bob Sanders and "has the talent to become a play-making safety with Pro Bowl potential if he can sustain his health."