Jerome Baker handled his trip to the 2018 NFL Combine well. The former Ohio State linebacker ran a 4.53-second 40-yard dash, recorded 22 bench press reps and a 36.5-inch vertical leap. All of those results solidified Baker’s status as a likely Day 2 pick in the 2018 NFL Draft.
One team was even impressed with how he handled an unusual question.
Baker told USA Today that he was asked by an NFL coach how he would react if he punched Baker in the face during an interview.
“The one question that sticks out is I sat down, and the first thing the coach asked me is what I would do if he punched me in the face right now? To me, being from Cleveland, my natural reaction was, “Coach, no disrespect but if you punch me in the face, we’re gonna fight right here.” That was just my natural response. I guess that’s what he wanted to hear, because he said, “Good.” It was definitely a fun interview. I didn’t get asked too many weird questions.”
Baker got some clarification on the question and why the coach liked his answer after the interview.
“I crossed paths with him a little later in the day and I asked him why he asked me that. He said most guys freeze up or say they wouldn’t do anything when he asks them that. He said, “I don’t know about you, but if somebody were to randomly punch me in the face right now, I wouldn’t just stand there. I’d fight back.” I guess he liked my response.”
Baker is used to hitting opposing ball carriers. He had 67 tackles and 3 sacks for the Buckeyes in the 2017 season before he decided to enter the NFL draft.