PRO 2024 Rookie Spotlight: Javon Baker, WR UCF

Rookie Spotlight: Javon Baker, UCF

Height: 6-1 1/2″
Weight: 208
Hands: 9 5/8″
Arm: 31 5/8″
Age:  N/A
40-yard dash: 4.53 (projected)
2024 Age: 23 (unverified)
NFL Play-Style Comparison: Robert Woods, Stefon Diggs, Rashee Rice
Draft Grade: Late 3rd Round
Breakout Age: 21* (Junior)


Offensive Market Share Metrics (Final Season)

Receptions: 23%
Receiving Yards: 34%
Receiving TDs: 30%

High School: McEachern (Powder Springs, Georgia)
As a high school prospect: Class of 2020; 4-star
Colleges Attended: Alabama, Kentucky* & UCF


– All-Big 12 First Team Wide Receiver in 2023

– Strong hands catcher that shows patience before the ball’s arrival to show hands to the defender

– D.A.W.G. – plays with a bad boy edge on the field, something of a Cane Corso Mastiff

– averaged 7.2 yards after catch per reception (19th among qualifiers in Division 1)

– great body control, catch radius, and ability to contort to have a chance for any ball

– near elite footwork footwork

– 49 of 52 receptions finished as first downs or touchdowns in 2023



– transferred away from talent at Alabama due to playing time (DeVonta Smith, John Metchie, Jaylen Waddle, Jameson Williams, Isaiah Bond, Jermaine Burton)

– lacks high-end downfield speed; will likely not test explosively

– teams might have to live with more drops than they would like to see (14 over the last two seasons)

– lacks the quick twitch that some top-end receivers covet, rather Baker takes advantage of his lack in speed with patience and suddenness



Scouting Notes:
After departing Tuscaloosa for greener pastures, Baker attempted to join the Kentucky Wildcats prior to the 2021 season when things fell through, Baker wasn’t the only transfer receiver to attempt to join Kentucky, as Taj Harris from Syracuse had similar issues. But it was for the best, Baker made his way to Orlando and joined Gus Malzahn and the Central Florida Knights where he immediately saw his presence felt with three straight 80+ yard receiving games during his junior season. His suddenness in and out of breaks is at a high level, and his ball skills are second to few. He has an interesting career that saw super high, highs winning a championship with Alabama, but also rarely seeing the field, Baker resurrected his career in Orlando, and my expectation is he falls in the mid-rounds of the NFL draft and earns a role early in an NFL offense.

Fantasy Outlook:
As one of my higher-ranked receivers in the 2024 draft class, I will be interested to see where he falls in the NFL draft and how that affects the fantasy industry’s view on his potential. If Baker put up the same statistics and accolades at Alabama, we would be talking about him as a likely 1st round rookie selection in May, but he didn’t do it at Alabama. Baker had a solid 27% slot rate in 2023, up from 11% in 2022, he saw his aDOT (average depth of target) increase from 11.4 as a sophomore to 17.1 as a senior and he finished his career with 82 first downs and 12 touchdowns on 108 receptions. He is an all-around playmaker, and the transition to the NFL should be a rock-steady one as a big play threat, shifty route runner with aggression at the catch point. One player that comes to mind as a Rookie season portrayal is Chris Godwin, Godwin pulled in 34 receptions for 525 yards and 1 touchdown. Neither are elite athletes, both running in the 4.5s in the forty-yard dash, and patient route runners to boot. Godwin finished that rookie season 5th on the Buccaneers in receiving behind Mike Evans, DeSean Jackson, Adam Humphries and Cameron Brate.

Cody Carpentier

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