NAME: Deandre Baker
RECRUITMENT RATING: 3-star
WT: 180 lbs
Speed: Most concerning part of his game. Has enough speed to defend underneath and intermediate routes. Yet doesn’t have to the optimal long speed to run with vertical threats. He compensates for this by utilizing near flawless technique. Just wonder how sustainable that is at the next level.
Hip Fluidity/Change of Direction: Change of direction skills are functional but not impressive. His movements are controlled and stable, yet they aren’t twitchy or overly fluid. Hips seem a little stiff as well. Process of opening up and running is a bit elongated.
Ball Skills: Excellent at finding the ball at all levels of the field. His ability to adjust his body in the best position to make a plays on the ball is special. Has no problems locating the ball vertically as well. Turns his head in a timely manner and tracks the ball quickly. Always competes at the catch point.
Press Technique: Press technique is text book. Jam is extremely physical and deploys it early into reps to overwhelm receivers at the LOS. Does an excellent of job maintaining contact through the 5 yard window, which allows him to stay hip to hip with his opponent when he has to disengage. Squeezes his man to the side line as well. Will get grabby at times.
Run Support: Form tackler who loves to hit people. Gives maximum effort when defending the run. Can break down and tackle ball carriers in space as well. Brings a physical edge that most Corners don’t. Yet, can improve on shedding blocks.
Route Recognition: Extremely intelligent when it comes to identifying routes. Reads his receivers and processes their routes quickly. Runs their routes with them (stays in their hip pocket) a lot of the times. Also does a great job of mirroring Quarterbacks eyes in zone. Relies on click and close skills to make up for lack athleticism/closing speed.
Competitive Toughness: Plays with a “junk yard dog’s” mentality. Physical, confident tough, scrappy, and competitive would fit his description. Takes his individual match up personally and will let his opponent know when he makes a play. Likes to talk a lot but he usually backs it up.
Best Trait: Man Coverage Ability
Worst Trait: Long Speed
Best Film: LSU (2018)
Worst Film: Oklahoma (2018)
Pro Comparison: Chris Harris Jr.
Deandre Baker projects as a press man corner at the next level. He uses excellent technique, defends the run well, is a natural at finding the ball, and recognizes routes at a high level. With that being said, his athleticism will be the biggest question mark of his evaluation. The eye test already says that he isn’t an elite athlete but is he a functional one? We should find out at the combine. If his testing indicates that he isn’t athletic enough to play on the boundary. A move to the slot might be necessary.
- Ledyard, Jon. “2019 NFL Draft Player Profile: Deandre Baker.” The Draft Network, 2 Feb. 2019, thedraftnetwork.com/2019/02/02/2019-nfl-draft-player-profile-deandre-baker/.