Rookie cornerback DeAndre Baker has really improved over the last two weeks within this starting New York Giants defense.
Beginner’s luck was completely non-existent for DeAndre Baker. The New York Giants rookie cornerback was constantly beaten off the route against the Dallas Cowboys and Buffalo Bills in Weeks 1 and 2, respectively. A guy who allowed one touchdown in his college career at the University of Georgia had already allowed his first pro touchdown in his very first game.
However, Baker has come into his own over the past two weeks and is starting to tear apart the cushion between him and the receiver. Against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and Washington Redskins (Weeks 3 and 4, respectively), the rookie allowed 35 reception yards. A knee injury forced Baker to miss much of the preseason, and players are realizing that those lost reps definitely contributed to his delayed success.
“That’s valuable time, especially for a rookie corner,” safety Jabrill Peppers explained, per Zach Braziller of the New York Post. “Those reps that he needed that he’s getting now, some things in the game you have to physically see.”
It’s difficult to argue against how tough it is to be in Baker’s spot right now. Despite winning the Jim Thorpe Award last year for the nation’s top defensive back, the speed and dynamics of NFL receivers bring upon a whole new ball game. The first-year pro is sticking to his confidence, however, even with the past slow start.
“I never lack confidence,” he said. “I still feel like I’m one of the best to do it. I just got to prove it.”
Baker and the Giants defense turned it around in their Week 4 victory over the Redskins, only allowing three points. They previously allowed 35 points to the Cowboys, 28 to the Bills, and 31 to the Bucs.
Big Blue will play host to the Minnesota Vikings this coming Sunday at 1:00 p.m. ET. Minnesota’s offense ranks 18th in the league with 21.0 points scored-per-game.