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Sports

New York Giants Off the Clock: First-Round Pick Cornerback Deandre Baker, Georgia

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New York Giants Off the Clock: First-Round Pick Cornerback Deandre Baker, Georgia

2019-05-21 18:33:411 Oct 2018 01:53 AM EST

-by Daniel Mogollon, Staff Writer; Image: New York Giants first-round pick cornerback Deandre Baker breaks up pass. (Image Source: Jonathan Bachman/Getty Images)

The New York Giants had 10 picks in the 2019 NFL Draft, including three first-round selections. As we take the Giants “Off the Clock,” we’ll breakdown all 10 of their draft picks, continuing with the third of their three first-round choices:

Round 1; Pick 30 (30th Overall): CB Deandre Baker, Georgia

NY Giants Checklist: Offense | Defense | Daniel Jones | Dexter Lawrence |

Measurables: Standing at 5’11” and 193 pounds, Baker has adequate size. He has small hands (9”) but very long arms (77 ½” wingspan, 32” arms) which allows him to stand out among cornerback prospects. Baker had a disappointing NFL Scouting Combine, there’s no other way to slice it. His 4.52 40-yard dash, 118” broad jump, and 14 bench press reps were all below average for the position.

Skill Set: A better football player than athlete, Baker was a standout between the hedges for the Bulldogs. He has the instincts and footwork needed to be an excellent cover man. A fluid athlete, Baker can flip his hips in-and-out of breaks with good quickness. He reads receivers well and uses his length to get his hands on the football. A solid tackler, he doesn’t hesitate to get involved in defending the run.    

Value: The Giants got good value with the selection of Baker. Was he projected to be the first cornerback off the board? No, but that’s more of a product of other prospects being overvalued. Baker was expected to go in the late first- to early second-round range and in my opinion has first-round talent.

Need: Big time. New York has one established cornerback on their roster in Janoris Jenkins, who is 30 years old. The cornerback projected to start opposite Jenkins going into the draft was 2018 supplemental pick Sam Beal, who has yet to play an NFL snap.

Mogollon’s Pick: While I was good with the selection of Baker in this spot with three first-round picks I would have liked to address the offensive line. Like Baker, I thought Cody Ford (No. 38) out of Oklahoma was a first-round talent who could improve their offensive tackle depth chart in 2019 and beyond.

Off the Clock (Rd. 1): 1-4, 5-8, 9-14, 15-20, 21-26, 27-32 | Defensive ROY Odds | NY Jets Draft Checklist: Offense | Defense | Off The Clock: Quinnen Williams | Jachai Polite | Chuma Edoga | Trevon Wesco | Blake Cashman | Blessuan Austin | 2020 Draft: No. 1 Pick Odds

Who Else Did They Pass Up? There was no shortage of cornerbacks and offensive tackle prospects available at No. 30. With the very next pick, Atlanta selected Washington tackle Kaleb McGary, while Jawaan Taylor out of Florida (No. 35) and Ole Miss man Greg Little (No. 37) were also still in the board. Other cornerback options included Washington’s Byron Murphy (No. 33), Temple’s Rock Ya-Sin (No. 34), Central Michigan’s Sean Bunting (No. 39), Clemson’s Trayvon Mullen (No. 40), Vanderbilt’s Joejuan Williams (No. 45), and LSU’s Greedy Williams (No. 46). Murphy was considered the top prospect by most, while Williams was once thought of as a potential high first-round pick.

The Fit: The UGA coverman should fit in well with James Bettcher’s defensive scheme. He wants his cornerbacks in press-man coverage, with the ability to line up and match up with receivers at the line of scrimmage. Baker’s long arms and physicality should allow him to do just that, while his ability to mirror in coverage makes him an excellent man corner.

2019 Outlook & Beyond: As stated above, the G-Men only have one proven cornerback. While the Giants like Sam Beal, he’s got as much NFL game experience as Baker. You have to believe the competition for the second starting cornerback position is going to be wide open, with Baker pushing Beal (among others for the job). If not a starter as a rookie, it will be a surprise if Baker can’t at least crack the two-deep in 2019. The Giants drafted Baker with both the present and future in mind. Janoris Jenkins will turn 31 at midseason and has two years left on his five-year deal with a manageable $3.5 million in dead cap space if he’s cut after the season. Either way, the Giants traded up to select Baker because they believe he’s going to be a long-term starting solution at cornerback.

Daniel Mogollon is a member of the Pro Football Writers of America and the Football Writers Association of America. He is also a voter for the Thorpe and the Rotary Lombardi Award, as well as the Latino Sports MVP Awards. You can reach him via email: danmogollon@gmail.com.

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