With the first round of the 2019 NFL Draft coming to a close, cornerback DeAndre Baker still had faith someone would take him before the end of the night.
Then, he got a call.
It was the Giants, a team that liked him so much they traded with the Seahawks at No. 30 to nab the Georgia Bulldog.
"It was a dream come true," Baker told SNY's Ralph Vacchiano, donning his new Giants hat. "All the hard work, countless hours of grinding -- it finally paid off. A childhood dream finally came true."
The Giants needed help at the defensive back position, and they picked up the 2018 Jim Thorpe Award winner which is given to the most outstanding defensive back in the country. That pedigree, especially coming from the tough SEC conference, will make its way to East Rutherford where Baker could potentially be a starter coming out of training camp.
Janoris Jenkins is the only solidified starter at cornerback, with Sam Beal coming off a season-ending shoulder injury last year. The supplemental round draft pick is also a very good press coverage corner like Baker, so it will be a fun battle to watch this summer.
It's a battle that Baker is ready to take on.
"I'm prepared," he said. "I just want to come in and compete. Hopefully I get a chance this year to help my team."
Baker exudes confidence when he takes the field, playing as an aggressive defender that isn't afraid of any matchup. At 5-foot-11, 190 pounds, he may be undersized at the position for some evaluators. However, his seven interceptions and 23 passes defended over his past three seasons at Georgia proves he is a top talent at his position.
Aggressive is what the Giants will appreciate from Baker, as it is the same adjective that describes defensive coordinator's James Bettcher's 3-4 scheme.
"I always come on the field with confidence," Baker said. "So I'm just hoping to get in, get some work in, older guys in the locker room show me the ways and I just want to help my team."
Baker already has a connection on the Giants' defense with former teammate LB Lorenzo Carter being a third-rounder by Big Blue last season. Baker said once he's done with his media obligations, he'll definitely be reaching out to Carter to get a lay of the land before making the trip up to New Jersey to start getting to work.
Many saw Baker as the best cover corner in this draft, and he quickly answered "by far" to Vacchiano. Why is that?
"Just the consistency week in, week out and the preparation I put in every week," he said. "That's what separates me from everybody."