Today's NFL is defined by a single phrase: what have you done for me lately? Players don't get years to develop their craft like their forbears decades ago. They have to preform at a high level in short order especially if they play a marque position such as QB, RB, WR, or LT. Which forces us to ask some serious questions about our struggling 25 year old starting Left Tackle.
Left Tackle is perhaps unique in the NFL in that they are almost exclusively found in the first round. Which I'd argue makes them bigger investments and thus bigger risks than just about any other position aside from a top 10 QB pick. They are almost never traded and only available in Free Agency once they are well past their prime.
So what do we have in Baker? Obviously he was drafted to protect Matt Ryan's backside and barring injury will play that role for the rest of the year. But how much longer should we give him to develop? Replacing him is going to be expensive but so is keeping him at LT if he can't preform consistently at a higher level.
Personally, I think we might be better off spending next year's #1 on new LT and moving Baker to Right Tackle. Clabo is in the last year of his contract and I think Baker might flourish in a less physically and mentally demanding position. The other option would be moving Baker to one of the guard positions but we seem fairly set there with our starters and rookies.
The kid has talent and I'm reluctant to throw him away for not being great at one of the most difficult positions in the NFL especially if he can succeed and contribute somewhere else on the O-Line.
So what do you guys think? Give Baker more time at LT, move him around, or is a trade/cut in his future?