PFF gives slight disrespect to Budda Baker in safety rankings list

San Francisco 49ers v Arizona Cardinals
San Francisco 49ers v Arizona Cardinals / Ryan Kang/GettyImages

The Arizona Cardinals have one of the most underrated players in the league in safety Budda Baker. He was a second round draft pick in 2017 out of Washington and became an immediate playmaker for the Cardinals in his rookie season with 74 total tackles, 7 pass deflections, 2 forced fumbles, one sack and a fumble recovery. His rookie season ended with him not only being voted as a Pro Bowl player, but he made First-Team All Pro. Since then, Baker has been voted to the Pro Bowl five times and earned another First-Team All Pro honors in 2020. He is one of the best players that no one outside of Arizona talks about.

Heading into the 2024 season, Baker could very well be going into his last year as a member of the Cardinals. His contract is set to expire after next season and at 28 years old he is still one of the most talented safeties in the game. 

Throughout this offseason, Pro Football Focus has been coming out with position rankings heading into the 2024 season which includes the rankings of the top safeties. Zoltan Buday from PFF ranked the top safeties heading into next season and there is a slight disrespect to Baker, who was placed as the 14th best safety right behind Talanoa Hufanga of the San Francisco 49ers.

Baker was the second highest ranked safety in the NFC West ahead of Kamren Curl from the Los Angeles Rams (No. 21) and Julian Love from the Seattle Seahawks (No. 28). In addition, Buday ranked other Cardinals safety Jalen Thompson at #26. 

While Baker is still ranked as a top-15 safety, it is disrespectful considering what Baker has done in his career and how he managed to still produce at the highest level possible in an Arizona defense that was among the worst units last season. The good news for Baker is that Arizona addressed the defense this offseason and he is heading into a contract year. As long as the Cardinals’ defense can hold their ground and Baker does not need to be all over the field, he should easily exceed expectations and earn himself a decent sized payday from Arizona or somewhere else in 2025.