Can the addition of DeAndre Baker have a significant impact on the Kansas City Chiefs?
The Kansas City Chiefs may have lucked out after making the decision to add former New York Giants cornerback DeAndre Baker.
Baker fell into Kansas City’s lap and has had an unconventional road to get to the Chiefs. He was initially with the New York Giants but was eventually released as he was facing armed robbery charges. However, the charges were later dropped and Baker was able to find a home here in Kansas City.
The Chiefs were able to benefit from issues that were off the field involving another organization. Baker was eventually let go, but the Chiefs were able to bring him in. Given that the charges were dropped and that he’s a former first round pick by the Giants in 2019, the move makes sense and he’s got loads of potential.
And so far, Baker has looked good in a Chiefs uniform.
In limited action from week 17 last season, Baker flashed plenty of potential before breaking his femur, which would unfortunately end his season. However, Baker appeared in preseason week 1 against San Francisco and didn’t allow a completion in his time on the field.
Baker has also had a good training camp by all accounts.
He was a popular choice for the Chiefs in mock drafts back in 2019 before the team traded their first rounder in addition to other assets for Seattle Seahawks pass-rusher Frank Clark. So, by signing Baker, the Chiefs ended up with a player they may very well have drafted had they kept their pick in 2019.
DeAndre Baker could change how we view Kansas City Chiefs 2019 class
Let’s say we are to hypothetically include Baker as a Chiefs draftee. What does the class look like?
- first and second rounder + 3rd round pick swap traded for Frank Clark*
- DeAndre Baker*
- pick No. 56 – Mecole Hardman
- pick No. 63 – Juan Thornhill
- pick No. 84 – Khalen Saunders
- pick No. 201 – Rashad Fenton
- pick No. 214 – Darwin Thompson
- pick No. 216 – Nick Allegretti
Looking back, there were some questionable moves made in that 2019 draft.
The biggest standout is surely the compensation that was given up to get Clark. While there are some debates about this, many would agree that the Clark deal was bad for the Kansas City Chiefs.
Mecole Hardman remains a questionable pick because there is the everlasting question of “why didn’t they take D.K. Metcalf?”
Or any other receiver for that matter who has surpassed Hardman. Heading into his third season in the NFL, Hardman is currently looking at a make or break year. That isn’t ideal for a team desperate for production from a wide receiver outside of Tyreek Hill.
Juan Thronhill is an interesting case. He had a great rookie year, a quiet second season, and now he’s running with the 3rd team at training camp. Take that for what it’s worth and maybe the injuries are holding him back still, but he hasn’t proven much yet.
Khalen Saunders is the top-100 pick everyone forgets about. Saunders has had a good camp but remains on the roster bubble due to the emergence of other lineman. What does that say about this class if Saunders doesn’t make the team? His future mostly determines that status.
Some of the later guys in Veach’s drafts like Fenton and Allegretti who are capable players make up for the earlier misses but shifting the focus back to Baker, if he turns out to be what we believe he can be, it makes the 2019 class look much, much better because you essentially have three guys in Saunders, Hardman, and Clark that may not be on the team beyond 2021.
Having Baker repairs the 2019 draft class in a big way if he pans out.
If Baker emerges as a top two or three cornerback on the depth chart, you have a serious asset who was originally drafted 31st overall pretty much handed to you. It’s almost like getting that pick that was traded away for Clark back.
Looking at it from a more positive angle, maybe Saunders bounces back, Hardman steps up as the WR2, and else everything goes smoothly.
Then, Baker is just gravy on top of it all.