There are cornerbacks with better stats. There are cornerbacks who had better showings at their pro days and the Combine.
But as far as Deandre Baker is concerned, there is no cornerback who is better than him. Not in this draft.
The Giants agreed.
That’s why they traded up to the 30th overall pick to select him out of Georgia.
“Nobody’s game film can match mine, nobody’s production can match mine,” Baker said. “The Giants knew that, and they took me with the 30th pick.”
Baker was so dominant that he allowed just one touchdown reception his entire career at Georgia, and none in the past two seasons. The one score he let up?
“It was a back-shoulder fade from the 1-yard line against TCU in the bowl game,” he said. “It just says that I’m up to date and I study the game. I watch the things I did wrong more than the things I did good.”
The Giants gave up a lot to get Baker. Besides sending their second-round pick to the Seahawks for the 30th overall selection, they also shipped a fourth-rounder (132) and a fifth (142). Those last two were the picks they acquired in the trades of Damon Harrison and Eli Apple during the 2018 season.
Baker is 5-11 and 185 pounds, a little smaller than ideal for a cornerback. And his measurables at the Combine were not off-the-charts. But scouts say he plays bigger than his actual size and some compare him with Josh Norman in terms of his intensity and ability to hound receivers.
Baker can play in the slot, but he more likely will be the opening day starter on the outside paired with Janoris Jenkins.
Baker said he considers himself to be a “shutdown” corner, though he wants to avoid that title for a bit in the NFL.
“In college I covered the opposing team’s number one receiver, that’s how I got the term shutdown corner,” he said. “In the league I just want to come in and work with my team.”
And try to prove what he and the Giants think, that he’s the best at what he does in this draft.