What a DeAndre Baker-less secondary may look like for Giants

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DeAndre Baker was supposed to be the Giants’ top cornerback for years to come.

Now, after one season, it is unclear if or when the 2019 first-round draft pick will play in the NFL again.

Baker is charged with four counts of armed robbery with a firearm and four counts of aggravated assault and Florida police are seeking him on an arrest warrant, according to an affidavit. In addition to his legal trouble, he could be facing discipline from the team and the league under its Personal Conduct Penalty, pending investigation.

So, where does that leave the Giants? Well, a recent history of wasted first-round picks could continue, though these are different circumstances than a career-ending injury or an underachieving player.

Baker was rated as the No. 105 cornerback in the NFL last season – allowing 100 yards or more receiving in three games with a sky-high quarterback rating of 130.5 against him – according to Pro Football Focus.

DeAndre Baker
DeAndre BakerGetty Images

The Giants already had one of the worst passes defenses in the NFL and now the weak would get weaker. The rest of game-tested cornerbacks are:

  • James Bradberry, who signed a three-year, $43.5 million contract to leave the Panthers in free agency.
  • Sam Beal, a third-round NFL Supplemental Draft pick in 2018 who has missed 26 of a possible 32 games during his career due to injury.
  • Grant Haley, who went undrafted in 2018 and plays exclusively in the slot, where he is better against the run than the pass.
  • Julian Love, a fourth-round pick in 2019 who found a home at free safety after questions about his speed prompted a position switch.
  • Corey Ballentine, a sixth-round pick in 2019 who struggled mightily as an overexposed rookie after his rookie offseason was delayed when he was the victim of a shooting that killed his best friend.
  • Darnay Holmes, a fourth-round draft pick last month who was expected to compete for a starting job in the slot but mostly played on the perimeter at UCLA.

If the Giants want to turn to free agency for help, they just missed out on a familiar face. Prince Amukamara, the well-respected Giants’ first-round draft pick in 2011, signed with the Raiders this week.

But Logan Ryan – another high-character option – is available and admittedly considering returning to his native New Jersey, where he played at Eastern High School and Rutgers. Would the Giants steal him from the Jets?

Dre Kirpatrick, an eight-year veteran with the Bengals, also is unsigned.

Kirkpatick played at the University of Alabama when Giants coach Joe Judge was on the staff under Nick Saban. Ryan was with the Patriots and played on special teams under Judge for the first four years of his career.

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