Deandre Baker, CB
This is the spot in which the Chiefs would love to see Baker step up and look ready for the regular season. Thus it’s good news that he’s already participating in workouts early in training camp.
The Chiefs have invested surprisingly little into the cornerback position in recent years but they’ve been quite fortunate that low-level risks have paid off with multiple players. Bashaud Breeland was an incredible buy on one-year deals in each of the last two seasons, and L’Jarius Sneed looked like a shutdown corner last year despite being a late fourth-round pick.
Sneed remains in house along with Charvarius Ward as two of the most established corners on this roster (yes, this is a very young unit), but they could use a boost here. Breeland signed with Minnesota this offseason which left Baker as the prime candidate to step up alongside Mike Hughes, a former first round pick who was brought over in a trade with the Vikings.
Baker, if you’ll recall, was the first corner taken in the 2019 NFL Draft by the New York Giants, but the team didn’t like the company Baker kept. Allegations of armed robbery and assault led to the team’s release of Baker despite the cornerback’s insistence that he was being set up. The Giants didn’t care and released him anyway, and when the evidence exonerated him, the Chiefs stepped in and signed him.
Unfortunately for Baker, he was forced to wait the entirety of the season on the sidelines as his accusations were investigated and then he was forced to learn the Chiefs playbook. He finally got onto the field for K.C. in Week 17 and looked solid in limited play but then broke his femur and was lost for the rest of the year.
So far in training camp, Baker looks like he’s healthy and able to participate in workouts like the Chiefs would hope. He still has a full month of the preseason to test his leg and if feels able to go, the Chiefs have a high-ceiling cornerback to go with an impressive young position group that could get very good, very quickly.