5 Reason Why Deandre Baker is a Top Corner

While Georgia lost several defenders to the NFL Draft, that does not mean that this team is lacking top end talent. You can look no further than the defensive backfield and cornerback Deandre Baker. Here we take a look at 5 reasons why Baker is considered to be one of the top cornerback prospects in the 2019 NFL Draft.

5 Reason Why Deandre Baker is a Top Corner

1. Ball Skills

Deandre Baker doesn’t have gaudy interception or passes defended statistics largely because opposing teams do not want to test him. When they do test Baker he shows the timing to break up passes with either getting his hand into the catch point or to lay a hit to the receiver to jar the ball loose. Being in the right position is one thing, but if you’re not able to play the ball, it doesn’t matter.

 

2. Physical

Baker is not afraid of contact whether it’s in the run game, attacking the receivers body to free the ball, or even in press man coverage. So often we see corners playing press but instead of getting physical with the receiver at the line of scrimmage they shadow turning and running deep. While Baker can play shadow press he can get physical with receivers without over extending or lunging causing the receiver to have to reroute or throw off their timing.

 

3. Technique

The thing that stood out immediately when watching Baker is his technique when covering receivers. Baker tends to put himself in a great position to always make a play on the ball and a big part of that is his patience. He’s able to sit back in phase and force the receiver to make the first move while he’s able to react to use his ball skills to break up the pass. Even on the above clip he is in the right position to not bite on the double move before accelerating to close the gap that the receiver made.

 

4. Versatile

Too often we see cornerbacks that are either press man corners or off coverage zone corners, but when you have a guy who can play either coverage that only makes him more of a commodity to NFL teams. In Georgia’s defense we see Baker playing a lot of press, but he does also play some zone coverage and even some off man from time to time. I’ve already highlighted his ability to play press, but when playing off the ball he shows the same patience to let the receiver make the first move and then has enough quickness to react and then had a good understanding of route concepts to read the play and get to where he needs to be. This means that Baker can play in any coverage scheme, but he also has the tools where he could play inside in the slot. There isn’t a team that he couldn’t fit with.

 

5. Can Play the Run

We all know that cornerbacks are paid to defend the pass, so when a cornerback can play in coverage and come up as a run defender that only increases their stock. Baker is aggressive defending the run often coming up hard to attack the ball carrier. While you’re not going to see Baker laying some huge hits and driving the running back to the ground, he is able to get through blocks and wrap up to drag the ball carrier to the ground.

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