Another Washington Huskies defensive back is off the board at the NFL draft.
Budda Baker, UW’s All-American safety, was picked No. 36 overall in Friday’s second round by the Arizona Cardinals. He was selected three picks after teammate Kevin King, who went No. 33 to Green Bay.
Perhaps the most important recruit of the Chris Petersen era at Washington, Baker was a three-time, 3A state champion at Bellevue High School, where he earned Associated Press and Seattle Times State Player of the Year honors as a senior. He originally committed to Oregon, but instead decided to stay close to home and play for the Huskies after former coach Steve Sarkisian left for USC and UW hired Petersen.
Baker immediately earned UW’s starting free safety job as a true freshman, and started 40 of the Huskies’ 41 games the past three seasons. He finished his UW career with 200 tackles, five interceptions, 24 passes defended, 13.5 tackles for loss and three forced fumbles, earning first-team All-Pac-12 recognition as a sophomore, then first-team all-league and consensus All-America honors after a junior season in which he tallied 70 tackles, 10.5 tackles for loss, two interceptions and eight passes defended.