CB Deandre Baker, Georgia

5’11” – 193 lbs. – 4.52

Was a reserve over eleven games as a freshman, then started seven of twelve games the following year, becoming a full-time starter as a junior and then winning the Thorpe Award this past year. Long-limbed with solid height and a lanky frame. Lined up on both sides of Georgia’s defense, playing a lot of different techniques, predominantly press-man, shuffle, bail, and zone. Good athlete with very smooth movement skills. Wasn’t asked to backpedal much but has clean footwork when matching releases at the line of scrimmage or getting depth with his shuffle and looks very comfortable flipping his hips/turning and running. Capable of blanketing receivers down the field on deep throws, creating a lot of confidence in his ability to avoid getting beat over the top. At his best when he’s playing on the short side of the field and he’s able to use his length to pin opposing receivers to the sideline. Keeps his head on a swivel and does a good job of locating the ball in the air when targeted; broke up nineteen passes over the past two years, and appears to have good ball skills and timing to make plays when he’s in-phase, with soft hands to secure interceptions. Most easily targeted on crossing routes over the middle of the field; while he flashes the ability to get his hands on an opponent and stick with them on routes with a longer stem, makes shallow crosses too easy for opposing quarterbacks by allowing receivers to get a clean release at the line of scrimmage and looks too inefficient/conservative when navigating through traffic over the middle. Has the length to play bump-and-run but isn’t the most physical at the line. Seems to be better in man coverage than zone; may have been responsible for a touchdown on what looked like a miscommunication in the playoff against Oklahoma last year. Not one of the most physical players when it comes to supporting the run. Could do a better job of maintaining outside position when taking on blocks in order to funnel ballcarriers back toward his help. A pretty prototypical boundary cornerback who has the physical and athletic traits to cover outside receivers in man coverage down the sidelines and make plays on the ball, but who looked beatable at times when covering over the middle of the field. Has starting traits and looks likely to be one of the first cornerbacks off the board.

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