Georgia cornerback Deandre Baker is going to make Giants fans feel a lot better about 2019 NFL Draft
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Deandre Baker is going to make New York Giants fans very happy
It took a little bit longer than most anticipated, but Georgia football cornerback Deandre Baker still ended up being the top cornerback taken in the 2019 NFL Draft.
The New York Giants, using their third first-round pick of the night picked Baker with the No. 30 overall selection. He was the first cornerback taken in the draft and the only one to go in the first round. This is the latest the first cornerback has come off the board since at least 1974.
— Georgia Football (@FootballUGA) April 26, 2019
But those same fans shouldn’t ho-hum the Baker selection. He was the best defensive back in college football last season, as he won the Jim Thorpe Award. In his last two seasons, while playing for the Bulldogs, he gave up a combined zero touchdowns. Not one. Zlich. He was the closest thing to a lockdown cornerback in all of college football.
He didn’t test through the roof athletically at the combine, which is likely why he didn’t come off to the board until the No. 30 overall pick. And it came out late that some weren’t thrilled about his decision to skip the Sugar Bowl against Texas.
— Georgia Football (@FootballUGA) April 26, 2019
But Baker is going to go into New York and work hard. He was a relatively unknown 3-star recruit coming out of the Miami area in the 2015 class. In his time at Georgia, he morphed into one of the best players in the country.
New York fans shouldn’t be worried about how Baker is going to matchup with the likes of Amari Cooper of the Dallas Cowboys or any of the Philadelphia wide receivers.
Baker also comes from a strong coaching pedigree. Kirby Smart and Mel Tucker have developed a number of NFL defensive backs over the years at Alabama. Baker is the first big-time defensive back to come from Smart in his time at Georgia, but he certainly won’t be the last.
As for a Georgia angle, Baker is the first Georgia cornerback taken in the first round of the NFL draft since Champ Bailey back in 1999. Bailey was just elected to the Pro Football Hall of Fame.
This is also the second year in a row that a Georgia defensive player was the first player taken at his position. Last year the Chicago Bears took Roquan Smith with the No. 8 overall pick in the draft. Smith was a key reason the Bears had the best defense in football last year.
It’s also the second straight year the Giants have taken a Georgia Bulldog. Baker will join Lorenzo Carter, who New York took with the No. 67 pick in the 2018 NFL Draft.
Most Giants fans are probably pretty disappointed with how their draft turned out on Thursday. It’s understandable given how people feel about Jones. But the Jones selection shouldn’t overcast the Baker pick. The Giants got a very good player who is going to make the team better next season.
There were 29 players taken before Baker on Thursday night. But by the time Baker’s career is done, I’m willing to bet there aren’t 29 players who have more success than the Georgia defensive back.
How is Georgia football not in this game?
Shortly before the draft began last night, EA Sports announced that Kansas City Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes was going to be the cover athlete for this year’s Madden game. It was the second biggest Madden announcement of the night.
The 2020 version of the game will allow users to play quarterback for one of 10 college football teams in the College Football Playoff as part of the Face of the Franchise mode. Those 10 teams are: Florida, Oregon, Texas Tech, Oklahoma, LSU, USC, Texas, Clemson, Miami and Florida State.
Ten schools available to select in the College Football Playoff part of the Campaign in Madden NFL 20 pic.twitter.com/x7Aliqv4m9
— Steve Noah (@Steve_OS) April 25, 2019
On the one hand, this should be seen as a small but significant step to getting the NCAA Football franchise back. The iconic college football video game last came out in 2013 and a new version is long overdue. The reason it hasn’t come back is due to squabbles with the NCAA and paying players for their own likeness.
But on the other hand, how is Georgia not one of the 10 teams in the game? Florida got put into the game and they haven’t come anywhere close to making the College Football Playoff. Florida State, USC and Texas Tech had losing records last year! There’s an easy joke to make that the only way Florida gets into the College Football Playoff is in a video game, but I won’t make it.
It’s noteworthy that Alabama, despite being in every actual College Football Playoff, is not in the game. It’s also worth mentioning that no Big Ten teams are available in the game as well.
Hopefully, Georgia can get into the 2021 version of Madden. Or even better, NCAA Football can come all the way back and give college football its own signature video game.
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