Georgia All-American cornerback Deandre Baker is headed to New York after the Giants chose him with the 30th pick in the 2019 NFL Draft.
The Giants made a draft-night trade with Seattle to secure the 30th pick. He was the first Georgia Bulldogs player taken in the draft.
Baker, the 2018 Thorpe Award winner, had been projected as high as No. 10 in the first round entering Thursday night’s NFL event in Nashville, Tenn.
Georgia coach Kirby Smart believes plenty more Bulldogs will be selected in the 2019 NFL Draft and recognizes the recruiting ramifications.
“The best thing that could happen for us is for each one of those guys to be drafted as high as possible,” Smart said. “We’re looking forward to having a helluva draft because we have the potential to have a lot of guys drafted.”
Many analysts debated which cornerback would be selected first in this year's draft, Baker or LSU cornerback Greedy Williams.
Baker is considered the more polished of the two, while Williams’ length and 40-yard dash speed (4.37 seconds) is viewed as giving him the potential for more upside.
But where immediate performance in concerned, it’s clear Baker is a proven commodity, having not given up a touchdown pass since the 2016 season.
There are plenty of other metrics that prove Baker’s worth, such as the fact that he gave up the fewest yards in the SEC per coverage snap (0.46 yards).
My numbers speak for themselves,” Baker said on the NFL Network. “I only gave up one touchdown my whole college career. I haven’t given up a touchdown in two years, no receiver ad 100 yards on me — I just produce. That’s what I do.”
Baker ran a 4.52-second time in the 40-yard dash at the NFL combine, which he improved to a 4.47 at the Georgia football pro day March 20 with representatives from all 32 teams on hand.
The Bulldogs had three players selected in the first round of the 2018 NFL draft: LB Roquan Smith (8th overall, Chicago), OT Isaiah Wynn (23rd, New England) and RB Sony Michel (31st, New England).
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