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Budda Baker

Budda Baker
refer to caption
Baker in 2023
No. 3 – Arizona Cardinals
Position:Safety
Personal information
Born: (1996-01-10) January 10, 1996 (age 28)
Bellevue, Washington, U.S.
Height:5 ft 10 in (1.78 m)
Weight:195 lb (88 kg)
Career information
High school:Bellevue (WA)
College:Washington (2014–2016)
NFL draft:2017 / Round: 2 / Pick: 36
Career history
Roster status:Active
Career highlights and awards
Career NFL statistics as of 2023
Total tackles:737
Sacks:7.5
Forced fumbles:6
Fumble recoveries:5
Interceptions:7
Pass deflections:34
Defensive touchdowns:1
Player stats at PFR

Bishard "Budda" Baker (born January 10, 1996) is an American football safety for the Arizona Cardinals of the National Football League (NFL). He played college football at Washington, and was selected by the Cardinals in the second round of the 2017 NFL draft. Baker is a six-time Pro Bowler and a three-time All-Pro member.

Early years

Baker attended Bellevue High School in Bellevue, Washington.[1] He played safety and running back in football, and also ran track.[2] As a senior, he was named the Seattle Times High School Athlete of the Year.[3] 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.[4]

College career

As a true freshman at Washington in 2014, Baker started all 14 games, recording 80 tackles, one interception, and one sack.[5] Following his freshman campaign, Baker was named a Freshman All-American by USA Today.[6] As a sophomore in 2015 he started 12 of 13 games and was named All-Pac-12 Conference after recording 49 tackles and two interceptions.[7] Baker was named a pre-season All-American prior to the 2016 season.[8] 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[9] and the Football Writers Association of America,[10] and a second-team all-American by the American Football Coaches Association[11] and The Associated Press.[12] On January 3, 2017, Baker announced his decision to forgo his senior season and enter the 2017 NFL draft.[13]

College statistics

Season Team Conf Class Pos GP Tackles Interceptions Fumbles
Solo Ast Cmb TfL Sck Int Yds Avg TD PD FR FF
2014 Washington Pac-12 FR DB 14 58 22 80 2.0 1.0 1 44 44.0 0 6 0 2
2015 Washington Pac-12 SO DB 11 32 17 49 1.5 0.0 2 0 0.0 0 7 0 0
2016 Washington Pac-12 JR DB 14 48 22 70 9.5 3.0 2 18 9.0 0 5 0 1
Career 138 61 199 13.0 4.0 5 62 12.4 0 18 0 3

Professional career

Pre-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.[14] Teams were impressed by his performance but were concerned his lack of size could affect his ability to play in the NFL.[15] 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.[16][17][18]

External videos
video icon Budda Baker's NFL Combine Workout
Pre-draft measurables
Height Weight Arm length Hand span 40-yard dash 10-yard split 20-yard split 20-yard shuttle Three-cone drill Vertical jump Broad jump Bench press Wonderlic
5 ft 9+58 in
(1.77 m)
195 lb
(88 kg)
30+34 in
(0.78 m)
9 in
(0.23 m)
4.45 s 1.56 s 2.59 s 4.08 s 6.76 s 32.5 in
(0.83 m)
9 ft 7 in
(2.92 m)
15 reps 14
All values from NFL Combine[19]

2017

Baker playing for the Cardinals in his rookie season.

The Arizona Cardinals selected Baker in the second round (36th overall) of the 2017 NFL Draft. The 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 Bears.[20] He was the fourth safety selected in 2017 and one of three Washington defensive backs selected, along with Kevin King and Sidney Jones.[21]

On May 25, the Cardinals signed Baker to a four-year, $6.83 million contract with $3.88 million guaranteed and a signing bonus of $3.10 million.[22]

Due to NFL's rules for colleges who follow quarters systems, Baker was unable to attend organized team activities or minicamp until the University of Washington's graduation day.[23] He impressed coaches throughout training camp and was named the backup free safety to Tyrann Mathieu to begin the regular season.[24]

He made his professional regular season debut in the Cardinals' season-opener at the Detroit Lions and made one tackle in their 35–23 loss.[25] 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.[26] On December 19, 2017, Baker was one of four Cardinals named to the 2018 Pro Bowl as a special teamer.[27][28] 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.[29] He finished his rookie season in 2017 with 74 combined tackles (58 solo) and seven pass deflections in 16 games and seven starts.[30] He was named to the Pro Bowl and earned first team All-Pro honors as a rookie.[31][32] He was named to the PFWA All-Rookie Team.[33]

2018

On January 1, 2018, head coach Bruce Arians announced his retirement.[34] On January 22, 2018, the Cardinals announced their decision to hire Carolina Panthers' defensive coordinator Steve Wilks as their new head coach.[35] 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.[36] He was also named the first-team nickel back with Tre Boston taking over at strong safety in packages that require five defensive backs.[37] 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.[38] In Week 6, against the Minnesota Vikings, Baker recorded a 36-yard fumble return for a touchdown in the 27–17 loss.[39] He finished the season second on the team with 102 tackles through 14 games and 13 starts.[40]

2019

In week 2 against the Baltimore Ravens, Baker recorded a team high 11 tackles as the Cardinals lost 23–17.[41] In week 9 against the 49ers, Baker recorded a team high 13 tackles and three passes defended in the 28–25 loss.[42] In week 10 against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Baker recorded a team high nine tackles and forced a fumble on running back Ronald Jones II which he recovered in the 30–27 loss.[43] In the 2019 season, Baker finished with a half-sack, 147 total tackles (104 solo), six passes defended, and one forced fumble in 16 games and starts.[44] He led the NFL in solo tackles.[45] He was named to his second Pro Bowl.[46] He was ranked 97th by his fellow players on the NFL Top 100 Players of 2020.[47]

2020

On August 25, 2020, Baker signed a four-year, $59 million extension with the Cardinals, making him the highest-paid safety in NFL history at the time.[48] In Week 1 against the 49ers, Baker recorded a team high 15 tackles (10 solo) during the 24–20 win.[49] In Week 5 against the New York Jets, Baker recorded his first sack of the season on Joe Flacco during the 30–10 win.[50] On Monday Night Football in Week 6 against the Dallas Cowboys, Baker forced a fumble on running back Ezekiel Elliott that was recovered by the Cardinals, sacked quarterback Andy Dalton once, and recorded his first career interception off a pass thrown by Dalton during the 38–10 win.[51] Baker was named the National Football Conference (NFC) Defensive Player of the Week for his performance in Week 6.[52] In Week 7 against the Seattle Seahawks on Sunday Night Football, Baker recorded a team high 14 tackles and intercepted a pass thrown by Russell Wilson although he was tackled by DK Metcalf before he get in the endzone during the 37–34 overtime win.[53] Baker was named the NFC Defensive Player of the Month for October after tallying 31 tackles, two sacks, two interceptions, and a forced fumble.[54] He earned his third Pro Bowl and second first team All-Pro nomination.[55][56] In the 2020 season, Baker finished with two sacks, 118 total tackles, two interceptions, six passes defended, and one forced fumble in 15 appearances and starts.[57] He was ranked 19th by his fellow players on the NFL Top 100 Players of 2021.[58]

2021

With the NFL's new jersey number rules, Baker changed his number from 32 to 3 before the 2021 season.[59] He earned a third consecutive and fourth overall Pro Bowl nomination.[60] He started all 17 games, recording 98 tackles, two sacks, seven passes defensed, and three interceptions.[61] He was ranked 67th by his fellow players on the NFL Top 100 Players of 2022.[62]

2022

On December 28, 2022, Baker was placed on injured reserve after suffering a fractured shoulder in the team's game against the Buccaneers.[63] In the 2022 season, he appeared in 15 games, all starts. He finished with 111 total tackles, two interceptions, seven passes defended, and one forced fumble.[64] He earned his fourth consecutive and fifth nomination to the Pro Bowl.[65] He was ranked 73rd by his fellow players on the NFL Top 100 Players of 2023.[66]

2023

On September 18, 2023, Baker was placed on injured reserve after suffering a hamstring injury in Week 2.[67] He was activated on October 21.[68]

NFL career statistics

Legend
Led the league
Bold Career high
Year Team Games Tackles Interceptions Fumbles
GP GS Cmb Solo Ast Sck PD Int Yds Avg Lng TD FF FR TD
2017 ARI 16 7 74 58 16 1.0 7 0 0 0.0 0 0 2 1 0
2018 ARI 14 13 102 78 24 2.0 1 0 0 0.0 0 0 1 2 1
2019 ARI 16 16 147 104 43 0.5 6 0 0 0.0 0 0 1 1 0
2020 ARI 15 15 118 90 28 2.0 6 2 90 45.0 90 0 1 0 0
2021 ARI 17 17 98 63 35 2.0 7 3 101 34.0 77 0 0 1 0
2022 ARI 15 15 111 75 36 0.0 7 2 54 27.0 53 0 1 0 0
2023 ARI 12 12 87 58 29 0.0 0 0 0 0.0 0 0 0 0 0
Career 105 95 737 526 211 7.5 34 7 245 35.0 90 0 6 5 1

Personal life

Baker's mother started calling him Budda as a baby since she thought he looked like a Buddha doll.[69] Baker’s older brother, Robert, died in 2018 after being shot in the Ballard neighbourhood of Seattle.[70]

References

  1. ^ Schnell, Lindsay (November 30, 2016). "How Washington's Budda Baker learned to stay on the right path". Sports Illustrated. Retrieved November 3, 2023.
  2. ^ Kelley, Mason (April 10, 2012). "Bellevue's 'Budda' Baker making a name for himself in two sports". Seattle Times. Retrieved October 22, 2018.
  3. ^ Liebeskind, Josh (June 11, 2014). "Budda Baker: The Seattle Times Male High School Athlete of the Year". The Seattle Times. Retrieved November 3, 2023.
  4. ^ Richman, Mike (February 5, 2014). "Budda Baker commits to Washington Huskies". OregonLive. Retrieved November 3, 2023.
  5. ^ Caple, Christian (April 1, 2015). "Budda Baker, Sidney Jones just sophomores, but bring valuable experience to Huskies defense". The News Tribune. Retrieved November 3, 2023.
  6. ^ Myerberg, Paul (December 16, 2014). "USA TODAY Sports Freshman All-America team". USA TODAY. Retrieved November 6, 2023.
  7. ^ Miller, Ted (April 9, 2015). "Budda Baker ready to lead Huskies defense". ESPN.com. Retrieved November 3, 2023.
  8. ^ Myerberg, Paul (August 25, 2016). "USA TODAY Sports preseason college football All-America teams". USA TODAY. Retrieved November 6, 2023.
  9. ^ "Sporting News 2016 college football All-Americans".
  10. ^ "FWAA > News > 2015 AutoNation All-America Team". www.sportswriters.net.
  11. ^ "Jackson and Allen Headline 2016 FBS All-America Teams". Archived from the original on December 20, 2016. Retrieved December 15, 2016.
  12. ^ "NCAA.com – The Official Website of NCAA Championships". NCAA.com.
  13. ^ "Baker, Jones, Ross & Qualls Headed To NFL Draft". Washington Huskies. January 3, 2017. Retrieved November 6, 2023.
  14. ^ "*Budda Baker, DS #2 FS, Washington". nfldraftscout.com. Retrieved May 20, 2017.
  15. ^ "Budda Baker Draft Profile". NFL.com. Retrieved May 23, 2017.
  16. ^ Chris Burke (May 25, 2017). "2017 NFL Draft Rankings: Top Prospects by Position". si.com. Retrieved May 26, 2017.
  17. ^ Jeff Legwold (April 22, 2017). "Ranking the 2017 Draft's Top 100 Prospects". ESPN.com. Retrieved May 26, 2017.
  18. ^ Mike Mayock (April 12, 2017). "Mike Mayock's 2017 NFL Draft position rankings 3.0". NFL.com. Retrieved May 26, 2017.
  19. ^ "Budda Baker Draft Profile". NFL.com. Retrieved March 5, 2017.
  20. ^ Wesseling, Chris (April 28, 2017). "Cardinals move up for hard-hitting safety Budda Baker". NFL.com. Retrieved October 23, 2018.
  21. ^ "2017 NFL Draft Listing". Pro-Football-Reference.com. Retrieved December 15, 2018.
  22. ^ "Spotrac.com: Budda Baker contract". Spotrac.com. Retrieved May 26, 2017.
  23. ^ Weinfuss, John (July 21, 2017). "Budda Baker enters Cardinals camp with lost time to make up". ESPN.com. Retrieved October 13, 2017.
  24. ^ "Ourlads.com: Arizona Cardinal's depth chart: 08/01/2017". ourlads.com. Retrieved October 13, 2017.
  25. ^ "Arizona Cardinals at Detroit Lions - September 10th, 2017". Pro-Football-Reference.com. Retrieved November 6, 2023.
  26. ^ McManaman, Bob (November 17, 2017). "Arizona Cardinals' Budda Baker can't play like a rookie against Houston Texans". The Arizona Republic. Retrieved November 6, 2023.
  27. ^ "A Pro Bowl Quartet For Cardinals". AZCardinals.com. December 19, 2017. Archived from the original on December 23, 2017.
  28. ^ "NFL announces 2018 Pro Bowl rosters". NFL.com. December 19, 2017. Retrieved December 26, 2017.
  29. ^ "New York Giants at Arizona Cardinals - December 24th, 2017". Pro-Football-Reference.com. Retrieved November 6, 2023.
  30. ^ "Budda Baker 2017 Game Log". Pro-Football-Reference.com. Retrieved November 6, 2023.
  31. ^ "2017 NFL Pro Bowlers". Pro-Football-Reference.com. Retrieved November 6, 2023.
  32. ^ "2017 NFL All-Pros". Pro-Football-Reference.com. Retrieved November 6, 2023.
  33. ^ "2017 NFL All-Rookie Team". Pro-Football-Reference.com. Retrieved November 6, 2023.
  34. ^ Baum, Bob (January 1, 2018). "Bruce Arians retires after 5 seasons as Cardinals coach". Chicago Tribune. Associated Press. Retrieved November 6, 2023.
  35. ^ Patra, Kevin (January 22, 2018). "Arizona Cardinals hire Steve Wilks as head coach". NFL.com. Retrieved October 23, 2018.
  36. ^ "Arizona Cardinals depth chart entering NFL game vs. Washington Redskins". The Arizona Republic. September 4, 2018. Retrieved November 6, 2023.
  37. ^ Root, Jess (July 29, 2018). "Cardinals safeties have new roles in 2018". Cards Wire. USA Today. Retrieved October 23, 2018.
  38. ^ "Arizona Cardinals at San Francisco 49ers - October 7th, 2018". Pro-Football-Reference.com. Retrieved November 6, 2023.
  39. ^ "Arizona Cardinals at Minnesota Vikings - October 14th, 2018". Pro-Football-Reference.com. Retrieved November 6, 2023.
  40. ^ "Budda Baker 2018 Game Log". Pro-Football-Reference.com. Retrieved November 6, 2023.
  41. ^ "Lamar Jackson helps Ravens run over Cardinals 23-17". ESPN.com. Associated Press. September 15, 2019. Retrieved September 15, 2019.
  42. ^ "Garoppolo throws 4 TD passes, 49ers beat Cardinals 28-25". ESPN.com. Associated Press. October 31, 2019. Retrieved October 31, 2019.
  43. ^ "Winston throws for 358 yards, Bucs beat Cardinals 30-27". ESPN.com. Associated Press. November 10, 2019. Retrieved November 10, 2019.
  44. ^ "Budda Baker 2019 Game Log". Pro-Football-Reference.com. Retrieved November 6, 2023.
  45. ^ "2019 NFL Defense". Pro-Football-Reference.com. Retrieved November 6, 2023.
  46. ^ "2019 NFL Pro Bowlers". Pro-Football-Reference.com. Retrieved November 6, 2023.
  47. ^ "2020 NFL Top 100". Pro-Football-Reference.com. Retrieved November 6, 2023.
  48. ^ Patra, Kevin (August 25, 2020). "Budda Baker, Cardinals agree to 4-year, $59 million extension". NFL.com. Retrieved August 25, 2020.
  49. ^ "Arizona Cardinals at San Francisco 49ers - September 13th, 2020". Pro-Football-Reference.com. Retrieved September 18, 2020.
  50. ^ "Arizona Cardinals at New York Jets - October 11th, 2020". Pro-Football-Reference.com. Retrieved October 11, 2020.
  51. ^ "Arizona Cardinals at Dallas Cowboys - October 19th, 2020". Pro-Football-Reference.com. Archived from the original on August 19, 2013. Retrieved October 21, 2020.
  52. ^ Gordon, Grant (October 21, 2020). "Titans RB Derrick Henry, Falcons QB Matt Ryan lead Players of the Week". NFL.com. Retrieved October 24, 2020.
  53. ^ "Seattle Seahawks at Arizona Cardinals - October 25th, 2020". Pro-Football-Reference.com. Retrieved October 26, 2020.
  54. ^ Gordon, Grant (October 29, 2020). "Buccaneers QB Tom Brady, Titans RB Derrick Henry among Players of the Month for October". NFL.com. Retrieved November 5, 2023.
  55. ^ "2020 NFL Pro Bowlers". Pro-Football-Reference.com. Retrieved November 6, 2023.
  56. ^ "2020 NFL All-Pros". Pro-Football-Reference.com. Retrieved November 6, 2023.
  57. ^ "Budda Baker 2020 Game Log". Pro-Football-Reference.com. Retrieved November 6, 2023.
  58. ^ "2021 NFL Top 100". Pro-Football-Reference.com. Retrieved November 6, 2023.
  59. ^ Anderson, Jake (May 3, 2021). "New number, who dis? Cardinals' Budda Baker changes jersey to No. 3". Arizona Sports. Retrieved November 6, 2023.
  60. ^ "2021 NFL Pro Bowlers". Pro-Football-Reference.com. Retrieved November 6, 2023.
  61. ^ "Budda Baker 2021 Game Log". Pro-Football-Reference.com. Retrieved November 6, 2023.
  62. ^ "2022 NFL Top 100". Pro-Football-Reference.com. Retrieved November 6, 2023.
  63. ^ "Cardinals sign Cooper to 53-man roster, add long snapper Bradley". Arizona Sports. December 28, 2022. Retrieved December 28, 2022.
  64. ^ "Budda Baker 2022 Game Log". Pro-Football-Reference.com. Retrieved November 6, 2023.
  65. ^ "2022 NFL Pro Bowlers". Pro-Football-Reference.com. Retrieved November 6, 2023.
  66. ^ "2023 NFL Top 100". Pro-Football-Reference.com. Retrieved November 6, 2023.
  67. ^ Druin, Donnie (September 18, 2023). "Arizona Cardinals Place Budda Baker on Injured Reserve". Sports Illustrated. Retrieved September 19, 2023.
  68. ^ Urban, Darren (October 21, 2023). "Cardinals Activate Budda Baker, Garrett Williams". AZCardinals.com. Retrieved November 5, 2023.
  69. ^ Kelley, Mason (April 10, 2012). "Bellevue's 'Budda' Baker making a name for himself in two sports". The Seattle Times. Retrieved November 6, 2023.
  70. ^ Clark, Ryan S. (May 16, 2018). "Robert Baker, brother of former UW star Budda Baker, dies in Seattle shooting". KIRO-TV. Retrieved December 18, 2023.
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Budda Baker
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