Baker in 2017
|No. 32 – Arizona Cardinals|
|Born:||January 10, 1996|
|Height:||5 ft 10 in (1.78 m)|
|Weight:||195 lb (88 kg)|
|NFL Draft:||2017 / Round: 2 / Pick: 36|
|Career highlights and awards|
|Career NFL statistics as of 2018|
|Player stats at PFR|
Baker attended Bellevue High School in Bellevue, Washington. Despite having an IEP in high school, he had many athletic and academic achievements. He played safety and running back in football, and also participated in many clubs and the track team. As a senior, he was named the Seattle Times High School Athlete of the Year. Baker was rated as a four-star recruit and was ranked among the top safeties in his class. He originally committed to the University of Oregon to play college football, but flipped to the University of Washington the night before National Signing Day.
As a true freshman at Washington in 2014, Baker started all 14 games, recording 80 tackles, one interception, and one sack. Following his freshman campaign, Baker was named a Freshman All-American by USA Today. As a sophomore in 2015 he started 12 of 13 games and was named All-Pac-12 after recording 49 tackles and two interceptions. Baker was named a pre-season All-American prior to the 2016 season. Following the 2016 season, Baker earned consensus all-American honors as a result of being named a first-team all-American by The Sporting News and the Football Writers Association of America, and a second-team all-American by the American Football Coaches Association and The Associated Press. On January 3, 2017, Baker announced his decision to forego his senior season and enter the 2017 NFL Draft.
Baker attended the NFL Combine and completed all of the combine and positional drills. He participated at Washington's Pro Day and only ran positional drills for over 50 NFL team representatives and scouts. The majority of NFL draft experts and analysts projected Baker to be a second round pick. Although he showed fluidity, athleticism, speed, passion, solid ball skills, and performed well in coverage, many teams were concerned over his lack of size and how that would effect his ability to play in the NFL. He was ranked the top nickelback available in the draft by NFL analyst Mike Mayock, was ranked the second best free safety prospect by NFLDraftScout.com, and the fourth best safety in the draft by Sports Illustrated and ESPN.
|Budda Baker’s NFL Combine Workout|
|Budda Baker runs a 4.45s 40-yard dash|
|Ht||Wt||Arm length||Hand size||40-yard dash||10-yd split||20-yd split||20-ss||3-cone||Vert jump||Broad||BP|
|5 ft 9 5⁄8 in
|30 3⁄4 in
|4.45 s||1.56 s||2.59 s||4.08 s||6.76 s||32.5 in
|9 ft 7 in
|All values from NFL Combine|
The Arizona Cardinals selected Baker in the second round (36th overall) of the 2017 NFL Draft. The Arizona Cardinals traded their second round (45th overall), fourth round (119th overall), and seventh round (197th overall) picks in the 2017 NFL Draft to the Chicago Bears in order to move up in the second round and draft Baker with the 36th overall pick. The Cardinals also received a seventh round pick (221st overall) from the Chicago Bears. He was the fourth safety selected in 2017 and one of three Washington defensive backs selected, along with Kevin King and Sidney Jones.
|Cardinals draft m Baker 36th overall|
|Mayock “Every game Baker was around the ball”|
On May 25, the Arizona Cardinals signed Baker to a four-year, $6.83 million contract with $3.88 million guaranteed and a signing bonus of $3.10 million.
Due to NFL's rules for colleges who follow quarters systems, Baker was unable to attend OTA's or minicamp until he graduated from Washington. He impressed coaches throughout training camp and was named the backup free safety to Tyrann Mathieu to begin the regular season.
He made his professional regular season debut in the Arizona Cardinals’ season-opener at the Detroit Lions and made one tackle in their 35-23 loss. On November 19, 2017, Baker earned his first career start after Tyvon Branch suffered a torn ACL the previous week. In his first career start, he collected a season-high 13 combined tackles (11 solo), deflected two passes, and made his first career sack during a 31-21 loss at the Houston Texans in Week 11. On December 19, 2017, Baker was one of four Cardinals named to the 2018 Pro Bowl as a special teamer. In Week 16, he tied his season-high of 13 combined tackles (eight solo) and broke up a pass in the Cardinals’ 23-0 victory against the New York Giants. He finished his rookie season in 2017 with 74 combined tackles (58 solo) and seven pass deflections in 16 games and seven starts.
On January 1, 2018, Arizona Cardinals’ head coach Bruce Arians announced his retirement. On January 22, 2018, the Arizona Cardinals announced their decision to hire Carolina Panthers’ defensive coordinator Steve Wilks as their new head coach. Throughout training camp, Baker competed to be the starting strong safety against Tre Boston. Head coach Steve Wilks named Baker the starting strong safety to begin the regular season, alongside free safety Antoine Bethea. He was also named the first-team nickel back with Tre Boston taking over at strong safety in packages that require five defensive backs. In Week 5, Baker collected a season-high 16 combined tackles (11 solo), deflected a pass, and made a sack during a 28-18 win at the San Francisco 49ers. In Week 6, against the Minnesota Vikings, Baker recorded a 36-yard fumble return for a touchdown in the 27–17 loss. He finished the season second on the team with 102 tackles through 14 games and 13 starts.
- "How Washington's Budda Baker learned to stay on the right path". SI.com. Retrieved December 15, 2018.
- Kelley, Mason (April 10, 2012). "Bellevue's 'Budda' Baker making a name for himself in two sports". Seattle Times. Retrieved October 22, 2018.
- "Budda Baker: The Seattle Times Male High School Athlete of the Year". June 11, 2014.
- "Budda Baker commits to Washington Huskies".
- "Budda Baker, Sidney Jones just sophomores, but bring valuable experience to Huskies defense".
- "USA TODAY Sports Freshman All-America team".
- "Budda Baker ready to lead Huskies defense".
- "USA TODAY Sports preseason college football All-America teams".
- "Sporting News 2016 college football All-Americans".
- "FWAA > News > 2015 AutoNation All-America Team". www.sportswriters.net.
- "Jackson and Allen Headline 2016 FBS All-America Teams". Archived from the original on December 20, 2016. Retrieved December 15, 2016.
- "NCAA.com – The Official Website of NCAA Championships". NCAA.com.
- "Washington Huskies". Washington Huskies.
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- "Budda Baker Draft Profile", NFL.com, retrieved March 5, 2017.
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- Jeff Legwold (April 22, 2017). "Ranking the 2017 Draft's Top 100 Prospects". ESPN.com. Retrieved May 26, 2017.
- Mike Mayock (April 12, 2017). "Mike Mayock's 2017 NFL Draft position rankings 3.0". NFL.com. Retrieved May 26, 2017.
- "Cardinals move up for hard-hitting safety Budda Baker". NFL.com. Retrieved October 23, 2018.
- "2017 NFL Draft Listing". Pro-Football-Reference.com. Retrieved December 15, 2018.
- "Spotrac.com: Budda Baker contract". Spotrac.com. Retrieved May 26, 2017.
- John Weinfuss (July 21, 2017). "Budda Baker enters Cardinals camp with lost time to make up". ESPN.com. Retrieved October 13, 2017.
- "Ourlads.com: Arizona Cardinal's depth chart: 08/01/2017". ourlads.com. Retrieved October 13, 2017.
- "NFL Player stays: Budda Baker (2017)". NFL.com. Retrieved October 23, 2018.
- "Arizona Cardinals' Budda Baker can't play like a rookie against Houston Texans". azcentral.com. Retrieved October 23, 2018.
- "A Pro Bowl Quartet For Cardinals". AZCardinals.com. December 19, 2017. Archived from the original on December 23, 2017.
- "NFL announces 2018 Pro Bowl rosters". NFL.com. December 19, 2017. Retrieved December 26, 2017.
- "NFL Player stays: Budda Baker (career)". NFL.com. Retrieved October 23, 2018.
- "Bruce Arians retires after 5 seasons as Cardinals coach". chicagotribune.com. Retrieved October 23, 2018.
- Patra, Kevin (January 22, 2018). "Arizona Cardinals hire Steve Wilks as head coach". nfl.com. Retrieved October 23, 2018.
- "Arizona Cardinals depth chart entering NFL game vs. Washington Redskins". azcentral.com. Retrieved October 23, 2018.
- Root, Jess (July 29, 2018). "Cardinals safeties have new roles in 2018". cardswire.usatoday.com. Retrieved October 23, 2018.
- "NFL Player stats: Budda Baker (2018)". NFL.com. Retrieved October 23, 2018.
- "Vikings vs. Cardinals highlights from Week 6". 247 Sports. Retrieved December 15, 2018.
- "Lamar Jackson helps Ravens run over Cardinals 23-17". www.espn.com. September 15, 2019. Retrieved September 15, 2019.