At NFLDraftMonsters.com we approached several players we talked to through our evaluation process, and asked them to keep a diary of their experiences through the draft and beyond. Some of these players went undrafted, but continued to provide us with information about their training, post draft experiences, camp invites, and ultimately signing with an NFL team. Perry Baker, a wide receiver standout from Fairmont State, is one of these players.
Some of you may be familiar with Perry Baker, but for those who aren’t he is a standout wide receiver from Fairmont State who was invited to the East-West Shrine Game. He stood out on special teams there, and during practice he routinely burned DeMarcus Van Dyke, a corner who we feel was severely over drafted by the Oakland Raiders in the 3rd round. Still, Baker was burning a player who NFL teams (at least one) thought warranted a draft pick and that says something about him.
The most amazing thing, however, isn’t that Baker has speed, it was that he was doing it all with an injury.
Unbeknownst to Baker he had played the majority of his senior season at Fairmont State on a torn meniscus in his right knee. The injury, still unknown to him, hardly showed itself when he was invited to the East-West Shrine Game where he practiced and played on it. All spring and summer, pre and post NFL draft, he trained and worked out for teams on that torn meniscus, and the reason he was cut by the Philadelphia Eagles after agreeing to sign as an undrafted free agent was because of that same injured knee.
Having seen him play, I could barely comprehend that he did that all on an injured knee. Obviously it isn’t as dramatic and debilitating an injury as an ACL or MCL tear, but having a tear in your knee in any way, shape or form is certainly going to limit your athletic ability to a degree, and makes what Perry was doing during workouts and the Shrine game all the more impressive.
The Eagles, unfortunately, were forced to fail him on his physical examination, after they (and Baker) discovered the injury, since a tear in his meniscus isn’t something they could simply overlook.
Perry says he was on a roller coaster ride of emotions after fielding calls from teams and agreeing to terms with the Eagles, then hours later being notified of a previously unknown injury that he had been playing on for the better part of a year.
He informed me that the surgery went well and his first day of rehab was this morning bright and early. He has been doing range of motion exercises with his knee since the surgery on Friday morning at 6 am. He texted me again after his first rehab session and told me that it went great, and that there was “no swelling in the knee at all” which is obviously a great sign.
The expected recovery time for the injury is 2-3 weeks, which means he will have to make the most of any offers that come his way once he is healthy enough to pass a physical examination.
It is my hope, as well as everyone’s here at NFL Draft Monsters, that Perry is able to make a fast and full recovery, and that he is able to get another invite to training camp so that he has a chance to show his game.
I’m not sure how realistic that will be, but I have seen him play and I can attest to his ability. It would certainly be unfortunate if he didn’t get another invite, but if he doesn’t, I’m sure he will have options in the CFL or the UFL since both leagues have lost players who left to fill NFL training camp rosters.
So for those of you just learning about Perry Baker, this is just the first chapter of his post-rehab diary. There are many to come, and as we get more updates on his progress I will be sure to share them with you. I encourage you all to retweet this, share it with your friends and leave comments on this post offering well wishes to Perry as he begins his road to recovery.
We’re looking forward to Perry continuing to share his thoughts on his recovery efforts, his workouts, and ultimately his NFL career one day.