Drew Boylhart January 2008
Sam Baker   OT   USC


Sam has good size to play at the next level.  He has played in a pro style offense and has done a solid job in pass protection and understands the responsibilities of his position.  Sam shows stand-out leadership skills and is the type of O-lineman that will grade out well after every game because he knows his assignments and carries them out to the best of his abilities.

Sam needs to get a lot stronger, move his feet better, fire out on running plays and learn to stay with his blocks.  He must use better leverage when pass or run blocking.  He must improve his lateral agility.  Sam must improve his quickness out of his stance and he must show every one that he can play more than one position on the line of scrimmage.  Right now, Sam is very overrated because he has played LT for four years in a big program.

For me personally, Sam is a big disappointment!  He has not improved from the first time I saw him play.  He really struggles making his blocks in the running game and doesnít stay long enough with his blocks when pass blocking.  Most of the time, he is covered up with a TE when pass blocking and he still gets beat to the inside.  Usually players like Sam can be moved to a Guard position or the Center position, but Sam is not very stout against the run and Iím not sure he is quick enough out of his stance either.  If Sam has a good work ethic, really wants to play at the next level and gets drafted by a team that has a really good offensive line coach who sees excellent potential in Sam, then it is possible he could make it at the next level.  But because Sam has not improved at all since the first time I saw him play, I have to think that Sam feels that he is a finished product ready to start for the team that drafts him.  This could not be further from the truth.  Sam might be able to be a Guard at the next level, but right now his blocking in the running game is very poor and he lacks strength and quickness in his upper body when he is pass protecting.  For a player that has been in a big program and considered to be one of the better linemen in this draft, I expected him to be further along.  Maybe Iím being too hard on the kid, but at one time, I really thought this kid could turn into a hell of a LT.  That just didnít happen at the college level, so I donít expect it to all of a sudden happen at the pro level.   Samís talent level is equal to most late round picks in just about any draft, but Iím sure he will be picked some time in the first three rounds because he comes from a big time program that knows how to market its players.  The truth is that Sam, currently, is a dime a dozen offensive lineman that you can get in the draft in any round.  But what do I know -- Iím just out here doing my own work and watching film from year to year.