Deandre Baker did not have a stellar showing a the NFL Combine. He managed to lift 225 pounds only 14 times on the bench press. This placed him in a tie for number 14 among defensive backs in this year’s draft class. Baker managed to jump just 118 inches in the broad jump, placing him number 26 among 29 defensive backs that participated. This shows a lack of explosion. In the heralded 40 yard hash event, Deandre Baker posted a time of just 4.52, placing him number 20 among the draft’s defensive backs. This is a disappointing time for a former track star. Deandre Baker’s game film will be key to him maintaining his first round status.
Physically Deandre Baker measured at 5’11”. He has nice arm length for his size at 34 inches. He has large hands for his size as well, with his hands measuring ten inches. Baker tipped the scales weight wise at 193 pounds. Take a look at the full NFL Combine results here.
Deandre Baker is one of the cornerbacks featured in the Best of Cornerbacks Workouts at the Combine. The video comes to us through the NFL YouTube channel.
Deandre Baker excels in press man to man coverage. He has excellent footwork and active hands, when jamming receivers at the line of scrimmage. He uses these traits to gain great leverage to redirect and slow down wide receivers, that could otherwise out run him in a footrace. The fact that Baker has long arms for his height, helps in the press department as well. Deandre has good short area quickness, and uses angles to help him recover when beaten initially on a play. He has great instincts, patience and route recognition, allowing him to sometimes run the route better than the wide receiver runs it.
Deandre Baker has outstanding ball skills and is a feisty competitive defensive back. He attacks the ball well at the catch point, in an attempt to swat away or intercept a pass. Baker also plays the ball through the wide receiver’s hands, allowing him to break up 18 combined passes in his last two seasons for the Georgia Bulldogs. He has excellent awareness and is exceptional at knowing when to close on a route. Baker is a physical cornerback who has no problem mixing it up with blockers and ball carries in the run game. He is not averse to squaring up and hitting a running back or wide receiver to make a tackle in the open field.
Deandre Baker is ultra competitive and is a great communicator on the field. He also does not back down from very many verbal altercations on the field with his opponents. Lance Zierlein of NFL.com gives former Atlanta Falcons cornerback Asante Samuel, a four-time Pro Bowl participant, as a pro comparison for Deandre Baker. Check out the scouting report on Baker authored by Lance Zierlein here.
The main draw back with Deandre Baker is his lack of elite speed. This would show up the most when Baker is asked to cover down field against a faster wide receiver for long stretches. This lack of long speed will put him at a disadvantage against some of the burners in the NFL, if there is no safety over the top. This will be especially evident when playing off man coverage. Teams will also use motion to prevent Deandre from getting a jam at the line of scrimmage and test his speed. The absence of elite jets means scheme fit will be important to the success of Deandre Baker.
Deandre Baker also does have some tightness in his hips. This could be a problem when defending super shifty wide receivers with two-way go routes. A lack of height could also be an issue for Deandre Baker when facing some of the more massive wide receivers the NFL has to offer. Technique can only get a player so far when they are at a major physical disadvantage.
The fact that Deandre Baker plays so physical could also hurt him in the NFL. Though he was not flagged a lot at UGA, the physical play will likely be called a penalty in the NFL. This could especially be a problem early in his career, as rookies are very seldom given the benefit on of the doubt on calls that could go either way. Deandre could also stand to improve at breaking away from blocks in the run game. Additionally he needs to do a better job of catching interceptions, as he has dropped multiple turnover worthy plays in his college career.
The Draft Network breaks down the game of Deandre Baker in great detail in this scouting report. The article is co-written by the analyst team of Joe Moreno, Kyle Crabbs and Jon Ledyard. Joe Marino offered this synopsis of Deandre Baker:
"Deandre Baker improved every year in college, culminating with a dominant senior season. His blend of ball skills, press technique, route anticipation skills and awareness combined with modest fluidity and long speed make him best served to function as a press/zone corner. Baker is an extreme competitor which shows up in how he tackles, battles at the catch point and plays off contact. Given his limitations in off-man coverage, Baker is a scheme-specific prospect but represents top-end ability for a team in search of what he does well. Baker should be an impact starter in press/zone."
Kyle Crabbs and Jon Ledyard gave their thoughts on Deandre Baker in this Draft Profile, on the Draft Network YouTube channel: