Former New York Giants 1st-Round Draft Pick Cut By AFC Contender

Deandre Baker

Getty Former New York Giants cornerback Deandre Baker is out of a job.

Former New York Giants cornerback Deandre Baker is unemployed once again.

Baker, who was a first-round pick (30th overall) in the 2019 NFL Draft, was released by the Kansas City Chiefs over the weekend.

Via Adam Teicher of ESPN NFL Nation:

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“The Chiefs released CB DeAndre Baker, a former first-round pick by the Giants,” Teicher reported on Twitter. “He was down on the depth chart after the Chiefs drafted Trent McDuffie, Josh Williams and Jaylen Watson and traded for Lonnie Johnson.”

Baker, 24, only played one season with the Giants. During the 2020 offseason, he was charged with felony counts of armed robbery and aggravated assault. Although the charges against Baker were ultimately dropped, the Giants released him before the 2020 season.

In his only season with the Giants, Baker played in all 16 games and started 15 of them. He recorded 61 tackles (48 solo, two for a loss) and eight passes defensed. The clip below sums up Baker’s time with the Giants pretty well.

Once his off-the-field issues were resolved, Baker signed with the Chiefs. He appeared in just two games with the Chiefs during the 2020 NFL season, making one start and recording his first career sack in Week 17 against the Los Angeles Chargers. Baker also suffered a fractured femur in that game, ending his season before Kansas City’s run to the Super Bowl.

Last season, Baker came back from injury to appear in eight regular-season games (one start) and two postseason games with the Chiefs. Through three NFL seasons, he has never recorded an interception.

Deandre Baker Looked Cooked at Training Camp

Deandre Baker may have been able to clear his name off the field, but his reputation on the field never fit that of a first-round pick. Below is a clip of Baker struggling to hang with second-round rookie Skyy Moore in coverage during Chiefs training camp this summer.

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The Chiefs had the 27th ranked defense in terms of yards allowed last season, and that was mostly due to a leaky pass defense. Kansas City made multiple moves to bolster the back end of their defense this offseason, ultimately leading to Baker’s release.

Baker is young enough to get a chance with another NFL team, but his prospects to become a starting-caliber cornerback are slim at this point. Although the Giants could use some help in the defensive backfield, Baker does not seem like a realistic option considering the way things ended for him in New York and his deteriorating level of play.

What They Said About Deandre Baker Back in 2019…

Deandre Baker was one of three first-round picks for the Giants in the 2019 NFL Draft, with the others being quarterback Daniel Jones (No. 6 overall) and defensive lineman Dexter Lawrence (No. 17 overall). At the time, there was a lot of optimism surrounding this trio.

“Baker can play,” Jordan Raanan of ESPN wrote in his post-draft analysis back in 2019. “He was considered the best all-around cornerback in the draft by the Giants, considering his willingness to tackle. He also fills a need. The risk is that some teams were concerned with Baker’s character. Regardless, it probably isn’t a bad risk to take at the end of the first round, given his skills.”

Three years later, the general manager who drafted those three players, Dave Gettleman, is no longer with the team, and only Lawrence is locked up through 2023.

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