For those who are already writing off New York Giants cornerback DeAndre Baker as a bust, don’t be so hasty. The 30th overall pick in last year’s NFL Draft may have had a rough beginning to his pro career, but he settled down as the season unfolded.

For those who cling to advanced analytics, this one is for you…

Baker’s issue wasn’t that the game was too fast for him as a rookie. The speed of the game was fine. It was the way the Giants deployed him that was the issue. Defensive coordinator James Bettcher had his corners playing 10-12 yards off the line of scrimmage at times in an inexplicably passive approach to NFL defense.

Baker came out of Georgia as a press corner who confronted receivers close to the line of scrimmage and locked them down. In his final season in college, he did not allow a touchdown.

Bettcher basically had Baker roaming in coverage, leaving him to pick and choose the man he was supposed to cover. Once the Giants began utilizing Baker properly and playing to his strengths, his play improved dramatically.

Just point him to the receiver you want him to cover and leave him there. What was so difficult about that? Bettcher constantly overthought his coverages and confused the hell out of his secondary. With all the young players out on the field, the issue was compounded and the Giants gave up way too many easy yards and touchdowns through the air.

This coming season, you can expect Baker to play a more traditional corner role and he should be one of the players that makes a jump in his second season.