Road to the Draft

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Meet the Prospect: Deandre Baker

Name: Deandre Baker

Position: Cornerback

School: Georgia

Ht/Wt: 5-11, 193

40-yard dash: 4.52 seconds (4.46-4.48 at pro day)

Bench: 14 reps

Vertical: (did not jump)

Broad: 118.0 inches

3-cone: (did not run)

20-yard shuttle: (did not run)

How he fits: Baker won the Jim Thorpe Award as the nation's top defensive back as a senior after recording 40 tackles, two interceptions and a team-high 10 pass breakups for the Bulldogs this past season. Baker enters the league as a four-year college player (two-year starter) who has excelled in man coverage.

The Lions can pencil in Darius Slay and Justin Coleman (slot) as starters, but they're still on the lookout for someone to emerge and permanently fill the outside cornerback spot opposite Slay that opened up after the release of Nevin Lawson this offseason. Rashaan Melvin, Marcus Cooper, Teez Tabor and others will throw their names into the mix, but it's also likely the Lions select a young cornerback at some point in this draft to develop and compete for that spot as well.

Detroit's defense plays a lot of man coverage, and Baker might be one of the best man cover corners in this draft.

One of the knocks on Baker would be his size and average testing traits on athleticism.

Key observations: Baker hasn't surrendered a touchdown in his coverage since 2016. He has produced Pro Football Focus coverage grades of 89.0 or higher in each of the past two seasons and a PFF coverage grade of 93.5 over the past three seasons.

In fact, Baker ranked in the top five in terms of fewest yards allowed (175), fewest touchdowns allowed (0) and lowest passer rating allowed (40.2) among cornerbacks who saw at least 300 coverage snaps in this draft class in 2018, per PFF stats.

What they had to say about him: "Pesky press corner who has proven he can thrive against man-to-man challenges in a competitive conference. Baker isn't a burner, but has good play speed and the foot quickness and pattern recognition to stay tight in his coverage. The biggest issue teams might have with Baker is determining whether or not he can give up 30-plus pounds against bigger, outside receivers and still hold up. While there might be some matchup concerns at times, his ball skills, talent and competitive nature should overcome his smaller frame." – Lance Zierein, NFL Analyst

View photos of NFL prospect Deandre Baker.

How he stacks up: Baker comes in at No. 31 on Dane Brugler's list of the top 100 players in the draft. Brugler lists four cornerbacks ahead of Baker – Byron Murphy, Greedy Williams, Rock Ya-Sin and Justin Layne.

NFL.com's Bucky Brooks recently released his top 5 at each position, and Baker is fourth among the cornerbacks behind Murphy, Williams and Ya-Sin.

NFL draft analyst Daniel Jeremiah lists Baker at No. 31 on his top 50. He's the third best corner on that list behind Murphy and Ya-Sin.

Scouts Inc. lists Murphy, Baker and Williams as the top three corners in the draft, all with a "rare prospect" grade of 90.

What he had to say: "I want to face the best receiver every weekend," Baker said at the Combine. "When I get up that's the first thing on my mind, facing the best receiver. I want to show my talent. He wants to show his talent. It's man on man, that's what I like to do."

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