Arizona Cardinals trade up to select S Budda Baker in second round of NFL Draft

Apr 28, 2017, 4:34 PM | Updated: 6:54 pm

The Arizona Cardinals did not want to wait around to see if Washington safety Budda Baker would stay on the board for their second-round selection at No. 45.

The No. 36 overall pick Baker, a 5-foot-10, 195-pound safety, is Arizona’s second selection of the 2017 NFL Draft after taking linebacker Haason Reddick 13th overall on Thursday.

Baker, real first name Bishard, was first-team all-conference in the Pac-12 in 2015 and 2016. In his junior season, Baker led the Huskies in tackles with 71. He also had 10 tackles for loss, two interceptions and six passes broken up.

The 21-year-old is known for his speed. He was a state high school 100-meter champion while also being a three-time state champion in football. He ran a 4.45 40-yard dash at the NFL Combine, ranking fourth among all safeties that tested.

Baker joins Pro Bowlers Patrick Peterson and Tyrann Mathieu in the Cardinals secondary.

Veteran safety Antoine Bethea was brought in as a free-agent addition to supplement the loss of safeties Tony Jefferson and D.J. Swearinger. The team also lost cornerback Marcus Cooper.

Like Reddick, Baker is a multi-dimensional defender the Cardinals will assumedly use in a variety of ways.

Pro Football Focus is troubled by Baker’s small size having an impact on his versatility in their scouting report.

Baker seems best fit in a role close to the line of scrimmage in nickel defenses when he can attack the LOS, but is more worrisome the farther he gets played back in coverage because his tackling in open space is poor. He works well when moving downhill as he closes quickly on the ball, making him effective as a short zone player or perhaps as a quarters safety, but his size can also be an issue if forced to match up with bigger slot receivers or tight ends when deployed close to the line of scrimmage.

Life Changer Loans

Arizona Cardinals

Arizona Cardinals defensive end J.J. Watt walks the sideline during the team's NFL football preseas...
Haboob Blog

Cardinals’ J.J. Watt encounters ‘baby rattlesnake’ in bathroom

Cardinals defensive lineman J.J. Watt found himself in a situation many who call Arizona home never wish to be in. Or at least he thought so.
18 hours ago
San Francisco 49ers quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo (10) greets San Francisco 49ers head coach Kyle Sha...
Tom Kuebel

Kliff Kingsbury lends support for 49ers coach Kyle Shanahan in hat ‘beef’

Kliff Kingsbury tendered support for San Francisco 49ers head coach Kyle Shanahan in his ongoing hat drama with the NFL.
18 hours ago
Arizona Cardinals running back Jonathan Ward (29) celebrates his touchdown against the Cincinnati B...
Arizona Sports

Cardinals Corner: Arizona standouts aplenty in win over Bengals

Arizona Sports' Cardinals reporter Tyler Drake and 98.7 FM's Erik Ruby give their top standouts in the team's 36-23 win over the Bengals.
18 hours ago
Arizona Cardinals head coach Kliff Kingsbury, left, talks with quarterback Kyler Murray during the ...
Tyler Drake

Cardinals’ Kliff Kingsbury ‘impressed’ with Kyler Murray’s play-calling

Cardinals head coach Kliff Kingsbury handed over play-calling duties to QB Kyler Murray in the team's 36-23 win over the Cincinnati Bengals.
2 days ago
(Photo by Jeffrey Brown/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)...
Tyler Drake

Victor Dimukeje, Trace McSorley pace Arizona Cardinals in rout of Bengals

Arizona Cardinals OLB Victor Dimukeje and QB Trace McSorley made the most of their opportunities in Friday's win over the Bengals.
18 hours ago
Arizona Cardinals quarterback Trace McSorley looks for a receiver during the team's NFL football pr...
Kellan Olson

Trace McSorley throws TD in 1st preseason drive, Cardinals beat Bengals

The Arizona Cardinals' first series of the preseason was a positive one and they never looked back from there to beat the Cincinnati Bengals.
2 days ago
Arizona Cardinals trade up to select S Budda Baker in second round of NFL Draft