DeAndre Baker 2019 NFL Draft Profile

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DeAndre Baker
COLUMBIA, MO - SEPTEMBER 22: Defensive back Deandre Baker #18 of the Georgia Bulldogs warms up prior to a game against the Missouri Tigers at Memorial Stadium on September 22, 2018 in Columbia, Missouri. (Photo by Ed Zurga/Getty Images)

Overview
Position: Cornerback
Height: 5’11”
Weight: 183 pounds
School: Georgia Bulldogs

DeAndre Baker 2019 NFL Draft Profile

After almost declaring for the NFL Draft in 2017, Georgia Bulldogs cornerback DeAndre Baker came back for last ride during the 2018 season. After riding the bench for the majority of his freshman year, Baker earned a starting job as a cornerback during his sophomore campaign. Baker put up some good tape, finishing the season with two interceptions, one forced fumble, and 21 tackles in eight games. However, the Georgia product truly put himself on the national radar during the 2017 season.

Baker turned into one of the best cornerbacks in college football, helping pilot a strong Georgia defense. Playing lockdown coverage, Baker finished his season with three interceptions, 30 tackles, and nine passes defensed. Had he declared for the NFL Draft after 2017, he likely would have been a first-round pick. However, Baker decided to come back for one more season and try to give Georgia a championship.

While Georgia lost the SEC Championship Game and the Sugar Bowl, Baker had yet another fantastic season. Proving that 2017 wasn’t just a fluke, Baker recorded two interceptions, one forced fumble, and nine passes defensed while playing in 12 games. Universally seen as one of the top cornerbacks entering the draft, Baker should hear his name called early on during the 2019 NFL Draft.

Strengths

  • Excels in man coverage and can run routes for the receiver
  • Instinctive player capable of knowing what the receiver is about to do
  • Physical cornerback who doesn’t shy away from contact
  • Can play zone and off-man at a strong level
  • Can take receivers “on an island” and eliminate them from a game
  • Athletic player with good hips, hands, and all-around build.

Weaknesses

  • Doesn’t have elite speed and can be beat by faster players
  • Physical play can lead to unforced penalties
  • Slightly undersized and might struggle against larger receivers
  • Instincts can work against him on fakes
  • Struggles to shed blocks in the running game

NFL Comparison: Tracy Porter, Tre’Davious White

Teams With Need at Position: San Francisco 49ers, Oakland Raiders, Tampa Bay Buccaneers, New York Giants, Pittsburgh Steelers, Carolina Panthers

Projection: Early- to mid-first round

Bottom Line

DeAndre Baker is easily one of the top cornerbacks in the 2019 NFL Draft. With the NFL being as pass-happy as ever, teams are desperate to find players capable of taking away opposing wide receivers. Baker can do that, as he’s adept in man coverage and rarely lets his receiver get open. He’s a physical, hard-hitting cornerback who can wear down opposing receivers over the course of the game and can drop into zone when needed.

That said, he’s not the second coming of Deion Sanders. Baker’s a little slower than one would like, and his physical play will lead to more penalties at the NFL level. At 5’11”, 183 pounds, Bakers is slightly undersized relative to the ideal NFL corner. This won’t be a problem in most matchups, but bigger receivers could overpower him.

Baker shouldn’t be a top-five pick, but he’ll probably hear his name called in the first half of the first. A team like the 49ers or Buccaneers could trade back to grab him, or a team like the Panthers could stand pat and hope he falls to them. Wherever he goes, Baker should be an NFL starter from Day One.

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