When the New York Giants moved up in the 2019 NFL draft to grab cornerback, DeAndre Baker, they expected him to develop quickly into their top option. His rookie season was a bit more tumultuous than most would have hoped, and after the departure of Janoris Jenkins due to ethical concerns, Baker did step up considerably.
The Giantsâ€™ secondary has completely turned over since the 2018 season when they traded Eli Apple to the New Orleans Saints. With Jenkins heading a similar route, Baker has been thrust into the number one corner position. However, I wouldnâ€™t be surprised if general manager Dave Gettleman went out and signed a premium talent at the spot.
The New York Giants are extremely thin in the defensive backfield:
Big Blue also has supplemental draft pick, Sam Beal, who remains a mystery after limited action in 2019. Early reports donâ€™t view him as a starting option for the Giants moving forward, but there is plenty of time for him to continue progressing and refining his abilities. The Giants will enter the 2020 off-season with at least $70 million in cap space, opening up the door for a potential free-agent signing that would put Baker in the number two slot, where he is better off in his sophomore season.
Interestingly, Baker only allowed one touchdown in his 4-year career at Georgia, which amassEd 1019 coverage snaps.
During his senior season, Baker was arguably the best corner in the country, recording two interceptions, nine pass breakups, and a 29.3 forced incompletion percentage while allowing a minimal 40.2 pass a rating to opposing quarterbacks.
While DeAndre did struggle last season, cornerbacks often take more time to adapt to the NFL level. The physicality and speed of the game trump the collegiate level by a large margin, which ultimately puts Baker at a disadvantage right out of the gate. The experience you gain from his rookie season should benefit him ten times over in year two, and we should expect to see him take a significant jump after grading out as one of the worst corners in the league.