Week 12 NFL Follow Squad Energy Rankings 2020: Deandre Baker lands at No. 1 after whirlwind authorized battle


How Deandre Baker landed with the Chiefs only one 12 months after being picked by the Giants within the first spherical has all of the components to be successful Netflix sequence sometime. New York launched him nearly instantly after his involvement in an alleged armed theft within the offseason. He was going through a minimal of 10 years in jail if convicted. However on Nov. 16, the fees had been dropped in opposition to him and the victims’ legal professional was charged with extortion. 


William Dean, the illustration for 3 males who accused Baker of the armed theft at a home occasion in Florida, informed Baker’s legal professional Bradford Cohen that statements could be recanted for a worth. In response to the New York Submit the monetary demand began at $1.5 million and was negotiated all the way down to $800k earlier than the extortion cost. 

Out of the blue, the darkish authorized cloud evaporated over Baker’s head. However he was with out an NFL job — for lower than per week. On Nov. 19, Baker was signed to Kansas Metropolis’s follow squad and was one of many best No. 1 picks for the Follow Squad Energy Rankings in PSPR historical past. 

Within the 2019 class, Baker was my No. 2 cornerback, and I in contrast him to Tre’Davious White, a clean, scheme-versatile cornerback with all of the instruments to be an All-Professional. Now, I’ll say, Baker’s rookie season paled compared to the one White had in 2017. Nevertheless, Baker began to the appear to be the lockdown nook he was at Georgia over the ultimate six video games of the seasons with 5 cross breakups in that span. 

And now he is a part of the reigning Tremendous Bowl champs, and No. 1 within the PSPR. Issues are trying up for Baker after a nightmarish few months. 

There was only one call-up final week — Andrew Brown bought snagged from the Bengals follow squad by the Houston Texans earlier than their Thanksgiving smackdown of the Lions in Detroit. For these holding rating at dwelling, the PSPR tracker reads 33 call-ups, and we very properly may see one other wave of call-ups over the weekend. 

This 12 months, I am solely together with follow squadders who’re rookies, second-year gamers, or third-year gamers. That is it. And it aligns completely with my area of interest space of experience as a result of the 2018 draft class is the primary I absolutely evaluated as CBS Sports activities’ NFL Draft analyst. 

And as you will see under, I could not resist rating extra gamers, given the rise in follow squad sizes this season. To run parallel with the league’s determine, I hope to jot down about 16 people each Friday, 10 formally within the rankings and 6 honorable mentions. 

1. Deandre Baker, CB, Chiefs 

Whereas it could take per week or two for Baker to be taught the nuances of the Chiefs’ scheme, he is as gifted as anybody in Kansas Metropolis’s cornerback room and can be recent for the latter a part of the common season and playoffs, a pleasant enhance for the Steve Spagnuolo’s protection.  

The Jets ought to utterly be in play-young-players mode, and Scott is simply in his third season. He actually hasn’t gotten an opportunity to play a lot within the common season both. Initially a fourth-round choose by the Ravens, he primarily had a redshirt 12 months to get stronger as a rookie, then in Yr 2 led the Ravens in receiving in the course of the preseason. Scott is almost 6-5 and 218 kilos and excels when he wants to increase to make a catch outdoors his body. 

Coatney was the opposite Ole Miss defensive sort out on the draft radar a season in the past — the preliminary one behind Miami’s Benito Jones. Coatney was a late add to the Senior Bowl and impressed me in one-on-one drills together with his low-center-of-gravity push and pop on contact due to his fast first step. He seems to be stockier than 6-3 and 308 kilos and is not something near a uncommon athlete for the place. However I consider he can generate some disruption if given a possibility on San Francisco’s defensive position. 

Mr. Butler is again on the Eagles follow squad after two weeks on the 53-man roster and only one goal to indicate for it. He is a decent finish now, so there ought to be higher matchups for him in opposition to linebackers and safeties inside ultra-twitchy corners who can keep in his hip pocket. Philadelphia’s getting more healthy now at receiver and tight finish, however I nonetheless consider Butler could make performs after the catch and when Carson Wentz merely throws it as much as him. 

Clapp was my No. 107 prospect within the 2018 class after an extended and dependable profession at LSU with the Tigers. A largely poor mix led to a drop to the seventh spherical. His movie was clear as some time. I gave New Orleans an “A” for grabbing him as offensive line depth at No. 245 total, writing the next in my dwell draft grades: “Very skilled, extra of a technician than spectacular athlete. Sturdy in opposition to bull rushes. May be inclined to counters. Correct on the second stage.”

I bear in mind watching Cabral at Arizona State and being enamored with how properly he moved on the guard place. Now he is a middle, which makes excellent sense. Houston’s enjoying higher soccer now and simply introduced within the undrafted free agent this week. If there are any dings up entrance, the rookie has the athleticism to be a productive stand-in. 

After Saquon Barkley went No. 2 total to the Giants in 2018 one other Saquan went No. 177 total to the Saints. Hampton loved a productive profession as a do-everything security at Rutgers that largely went unnoticed as a result of it coincided with this system’s entry into the Massive 10. He had 13 cross breakups, three picks and 64 tackles in his closing season with the Scarlet Knights earlier than rocking on the 2019 Senior Bowl en path to profitable Participant of the Week down in Cell, Alabama. Then, on the mix, he ran 4.48 at simply over 6-1 and 207 kilos. He deserves a shot on the Jets protection down the stretch. 

Zeke Elliott ought to be slightly more healthy now, and Tony Pollard proved he can shoulder the load in Dallas’ lead again is not 100%, however I am throwing Olonilua right here as a result of he is a big, athletic again who deserves some burn down the stretch for the Cowboys. At 6-3 and 232 kilos, he had a vertical within the seventieth percentile and a broad soar within the eightieth percentile on the mix. Whereas by no means a star at TCU, he demonstrated the power to make defenders miss properly for an enormous again when he wasn’t operating by means of them. I might wish to see him be the hammer to lighten the workload for Elliott over the subsequent two months. 

Benzschawel was a draft mirage in the course of the 2019 course of. He entered his closing season at Wisconsin with a great deal of early-round buzz, and had a robust senior season. He largely seemed the half on the Senior Bowl. Then he went undrafted when two of his teammates, Michael Deiter and David Edwards bought drafted. Largely being a technical run-blocking specialist possible precipitated the autumn out of the draft fully, however Benzschawel has the polish to be, on the very least, an enough stand-in in the meanwhile. 

I bear in mind watching Love late within the 2018 pre-draft course of and loving what I noticed. The abstract of my analysis of him was as follows “sturdy, well-built defensive finish with good suddenness however not the power to maintain pace chasing from the bottom. Makes use of his comparatively heavy fingers properly as a pass-rusher and when shedding in opposition to the run.” And Love had seven pressures in three preseason video games in Buffalo final 12 months. Buffalo has a group of edge rushers in entrance of him who play in a heavy rotation, but when there’s ever a necessity on the place, Love can produce in a restricted function. 

Honorable Mentions

John Molchon, OG, Buccaneers 

The Buccaneers simply aren’t the identical when Ali Marpet is not on the sector. The veteran guard is among the higher gamers at his place and Tampa’s depth behind him has been disastrous in aid appearances this season. I am not insinuating Molchon completely could be higher than the earlier Marpet replacements, but it surely could be value it giving him a shot at this level. 

Rodney Clemons, S, Chiefs

Clemons was a late look ahead to me and immediately discovered himself inside my Prime 175. Discuss protection vary and ball ability as a security, Clemons has each, they usually had been on full show in a really productive profession at SMU. After three interceptions and 18 cross breakups in his first three years with the Mustangs, Clemons hauled in 4 picks and defended 9 passes as a senior. In my notes I wrote “keenly conscious of route ideas and the place the subsequent development could also be, so he routinely finds the soccer.” 

Duke Williams, WR, Payments

Williams was signed by the Payments in early January of 2019 to a kind of futures contracts which might be nearly at all times ignored and lead nowhere. However the bodily rebounder made the group, scored a game-winning landing in an important win over the Titans in Tennessee and had 4 catches for 49 yards in Buffalo’s playoff defeat by the hands of the Texans. He can play and noticed his first motion — albeit very restricted — in Buffalo’s Week 7 win over the Jets. However no targets.

Parnell Motley, CB, 49ers

Motley was my No. 249 prospect on my 2020 Massive Board, and whereas I clearly did not love him as a prospect, I felt he deserved to be included in my Prime 250. Honestly, he was a really tough analysis. All Motley did was make performs on an in any other case brutal Oklahoma protection in his profession with the Sooners. He registered 33 cross breakups over his final three seasons in Norman and snagged six picks. In 2019, he pressured 5 fumbles. Unbelievable. However he is small and examined very poorly on the Oklahoma Professional Day. I do not know if he has the bodily instruments to contribute on a gentle foundation within the NFL. However I do know Motley’s instincts and ball expertise can translate.

J.R. Reed, S, Rams

Reed has NFL bloodlines — his dad Jake Reed was Cris Carter’s sidekick for a interval in Minnesota — and the previous Georgia security has related pace when starting from the deep center in protection. He intercepted 5 passes and broke up 14 extra in three years with the Bulldogs and is an enormous security at 6-1, 202. There’s not one space by which he notably excels. Reed’s specialty is that he is extraordinarily well-rounded in all phases of the sport. 

Prince Tega-Wanogho, OL, Egales

Early within the 2020 pre-draft course of, there was an early-round buzz for Wanogho. Accidents led to a precipitous fall to the sixth spherical, however the instruments are there for the Nigeria-born former Auburn star to in the end be the bookend sort out to Andre Dillard in Philadelphia, a membership that is been excellent on the sort out positions for some time now. Wanogho performs with requisite knee bend, so he is not simply fork-lifted by smaller rushers, and he is explosive off the snap and within the display screen recreation. With higher punch timing and added weight, he is usually a constant pass-protecting sort out within the NFL. This season, he’d largely be helpful attending to the second stage within the run recreation.


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