April 17, 2021

GridIron365

Let's Get It!

Deandre Baker named Giants’ biggest draft mistake of past three years

3 min read


Every NFL team makes mistakes at the draft table and the New York Giants have had their share over the years. One of their biggest mistakes came just two years ago in 2019 when they traded back into the first round to select Georgia cornerback Deandre Baker.

Gary Davenport of Bleacher Report lists the Baker selection as one of the league’s seven worst over the past three years. You don’t have to convince Giant fans about that.

In 2019, the New York Giants used the sixth pick to select the heir apparent to Eli Manning in Duke quarterback Daniel Jones. But Big Blue wasn’t done. The team shipped fourth- and fifth-round picks to Seattle for the right to move up seven spots and select Georgia cornerback DeAndre Baker at No. 30.

In retrospect, the Giants would have been much better off standing pat—and drafting someone else.

To be fair, Baker was a highly regarded prospect after a standout career in Athens. Chris Trapasso of CBS Sports ranked the 5’11”, 180-pounder as the No. 2 cornerback prospect in the class.

True. Baker was the first corner taken in what was a weak one for cornerbacks. He likely would have gone undrafted in the first round and even fallen to the Giants at No. 37. There was no need to trade.

“Baker reminds me of Tre’Davious White,” Trapasso wrote. “Not someone who’ll wow you with his physical stature, twitch or length. But his vast experience (and productivity) in the SEC has led to him being a mirroring magician. He stays glued to receivers and has awesome awareness.”

That was the last time Baker’s talents and the word “awesome” would be used in proximity.

As a rookie, he was roasted in the Big Apple. Baker allowed 15.7 yards per completion and half a dozen touchdowns with a passer rating against of 116.2.

That was red flag No. 1 with Baker. He was uncharacteristically unprepared for the NFL for a Georgia player and looked completely lost out on the field. To compound issues, Baker seemed aloof at meetings and off the field, and didn’t appear to be taking his position as a pro seriously.

The Giants figured they righted the ship with him as the season went on. Then, in the offseason. the boom was lowered.

In May 2020, Baker was arrested in Florida and charged with four counts of robbery with a firearm, as well as four counts of aggravated assault with a firearm/intent to commit a felony. That July, Baker was placed on the commissioner’s exempt list, and by September 2020 the Giants released him after just one season.

Yet last November, all charges against him were dropped. Per assistant state attorney Paul R. Valcore, “The alleged victims and the known witnesses have become uncooperative, and their credibility is inalterably tarnished.” In addition, an attorney for three of those victims was arrested and charged with extortion related to the case.

Baker would catch on with the Kansas City Chiefs on their practice squad in mid-November of last year. He eventually was elevated to the active roster for the final three games of the regular season and even sacked Los Angeles Chargers rookie sensation Justin Herbert before suffering a broken femur in Week 17.

Baker was re-signed by the Chiefs in February but his legacy will always be tied to the Giants’ miscalculation of him, even though they said they saw no red flags during the vetting process.

Baker’s combination of being overvalued and then being in the wrong place at the wrong time sunk him as a Giant but everyone seems to get a second act in this league. Perhaps he’ll become the player everyone thought he was in Kansas City.

Deandre Baker named Giants’ biggest draft mistake of past three years



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