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Grading Giants first-round NFL Draft pick DeAndre Baker

The Giants were not done in the first round of the 2019 NFL Draft, as they traded back in at No. 30 to select CB DeAndre Baker. 

New York struck a deal with the Seahawks in exchange for the Giants’ second-round pick at No. 37, a fourth-rounder (No. 132) and a fifth-round pick (No. 142). 

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Ralph Vacchiano | Facebook | Twitter | Archive

This was a bold move by the Giants, trading a second-, fourth- and a fifth-round pick to move back into the first round, where they took the first cornerback selected in this year’s NFL draft. Obviously the Giants loved Baker, a 5-foot-11, 193-pounder with 4.5 speed.

There is no doubt the Giants need help at his position. Veteran Janoris Jenkins is likely in his last year with the Giants, and Sam Beal – who missed his rookie season with a shoulder injury – is projected as the other starter. Baker has a chance to win a starting job right off the bat, but if nothing else, he figures to be a starter in the near future.

The knock on him is that he might be a little undersized to handle the bigger NFL receivers. But he could work the slot with his speed. He’s also known as a very aggressive corner who thrives in the kind of press coverage that Giants defensive coordinator James Bettcher likes to play.

The cost to move up and get him wasn’t cheap, but as Giants GM Dave Gettleman said, “No guts, no glory”. They got the top corner on their board and he fills a huge need. That’s always a win.

GRADE: A-minus

Baker was the 2018 Jim Thorpe Award winner being college football’s most outstanding defensive back after posting 40 tackles, two for loss, two interceptions, nine passes defended, and one forced fumble. 

As Vacchiano pointed out, Baker likes to be an aggressive corner that could thrive in Bettcher’s scheme. Bettcher likes to send his defensive backs into the backfield on blitz packages, and with Baker having great tackling skills that pack a punch, it makes sense why the Giants went out of their way to grab their top corner. 

He will have a chance to battle for a starting role with Beal also getting his first taste of the NFL this season. But he will certainly be featured in 2019 as a player that could either play outside or in the slot. 

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