Brian Baldinger is a big fan of Commanders CB Mike Sainristil

Everyone loves Washington Commanders rookie cornerback Mike Sainristil. On draft night, legendary former Alabama coach Nick Saban said he loved Sainristil, calling him the best “pound-for-pound player” in the draft.

Senior Bowl executive director Jim Nagy was giving Sainristil love before anyone else.

When the Commanders chose Sainristil at No. 50 overall last month, they earned unanimous praise for the pick. When Washington coach Dan Quinn went to Michigan’s pro day and spent time with Sainristil, he knew he had to have him.

Former NFL player and current analyst Brian Baldinger also happens to be a big Sainristil fan.

“I thought he was the best slot corner in this draft of the guys that played that as their position in college,” Baldinger said in an appearance on the “Sports Junkies” on 106.7 The Fan via Lou DiPietro of Audacy.

“I thought he was a really talented player on a great team who covered a lot of ground, did what you had to do in coverage or blitzing. Just a good, aggressive tackler and a guy you can plug and play.”

Baldinger also said Sainristil was one of the draft’s better picks in a good draft.

As an analyst, Baldy saw plenty of Washington last season. Even if he didn’t call Commanders’ games, he watched film of every team, every week, and he realized what Washington fans knew all too well: The secondary stunk.

Baldinger believes Sainristil and veteran free agent Michael Davis will improve the 2024 secondary.

“Michael Davis has had good moments with the Chargers, and this was the worst secondary in football, so Sainristil and Davis are definitely upgrades,” Baldinger said. “When your safeties don’t tackle well and blow coverages, you give up full-on touchdowns, and that’s what happened last year.”

The Commanders didn’t make any big moves at cornerback this offseason outside of drafting Sainristil, who will play the slot. Davis was one of multiple free-agent cornerbacks Washington signed and the one most likely to impact the depth chart. Early reports from OTAs have Davis ahead of last year’s first-round pick, Emmanuel Forbes.

Washington is counting on the new additions to help the NFL’s worst defense, but more importantly, it believes that coaching will make a bigger difference.

Story originally appeared on Commanders Wire