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After Huge Season, Budda Baker Named First-Team All-Pro

Cardinals safety already named to third Pro Bowl

Safety Budda Baker was named All-Pro in 2020.
Safety Budda Baker was named All-Pro in 2020.

Budda Baker said he wants to be a more vocal leader next season, which makes sense for the guy who was named captain for the first time.

"Just because I am that guy, fifth year in, I am that guy everybody sees," Baker said.

Everybody does see the Cardinals' Pro Bowl safety, including those who vote for All-Pro – which is where Baker found himself Friday, named as a first-team All-Pro in 2020.

There were three first-team All-Pro safeties, since Baker and Pittsburgh's Minkah Fitzpatrick each got 18 votes. Chiefs safety Tyrann Mathieu, the other first-team safety, got 19 votes.

Wide receiver DeAndre Hopkins (21 votes) was named second-team All-Pro, the top vote-getter on the second team at his position. Green Bay's Devante Adams, Buffalo's Stefon Diggs and Kansas City's Tyreek Hill were the first-team receivers.

Cardinals linebacker Haason Reddick got two votes as an edge rusher, while Ezekiel Turner got four votes and Dennis Gardeck one as a special teamer.

The voting is based on a panel of 50 media members nationally, through the Associated Press.

It's the second time Baker has been named All-Pro, after he received a first-team special teams nod in his rookie season of 2017.

Baker, who was named a captain into the season after captain Chandler Jones was injured for the year, finished with 118 tackles (second on the team to linebacker Jordan Hicks), two sacks, two interceptions, six passes defensed, three quarterback hits and a forced fumble.

He became that player offenses had to account for on every play, one of the area in which he said he grew in 2020, "knowing the offense is going to try and do certain things because they don't want me to make certain plays and me being able to mess with them."

He was pleased with his progress, although being All-Pro does not make up for the Cardinals missing the playoffs.

"I hate to lose," Baker said. "Growing up, rock, paper, scissors, I don't like to lose. In my career, whether it's high school, college, each and every year we have progressed. … I am definitely progressing as a player and (we are) as a team. But I don't like to lose. At all."

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