If you are a New York Giants fan like myself, to say the season was one to forget would be the understatement of the century. Like many others, I had dreams of the Giants possibly playing in the Super Bowl this year, and instead, the team had one of the worst records in franchise history at 3-13. To their credit, they did suffer from a lot of injuries, but it was a season full of turmoil, that included head coach Ben McAdoo getting fired (thank god), beloved quarterback Eli Manning getting benched for a loser like Geno Smith and ending his consecutive starting streak, and fan favorite Odell Beckham Jr. breaking his ankle. Not great!
Fortunately, the team lost enough games to give themselves the 2nd pick in the 2018 NFL Draft, and a chance to get a franchise changing player. For the record, as much as I love Eli Manning and all he’s done for the team, he’s on the wrong side of 37, and I would like to see them draft Josh Rosen to take over the reigns from him at quarterback.
Known as one of the blue blood franchises of the NFL, the Giants have had a lot of success in the draft over the years, although it may not seem like it because of some of their recent draft duds, we’re not going to talk about that. So instead of talking about the dark days of recent, I’m going to remember the good times, and let you know of the 5 best draft picks in team history.
5. Phil Simms – 1979 Draft, 1st Round 7th Overall Pick – Morehead St
Many of you may know Phill Simms as the annoying analyst who called games with Jim Nantz on CBS who was eventually replaced by Tony Romo who is also incredibly annoying, and while I wasn’t alive for the prime of Simms’ career, I have done my research on him (hearing stories from my dad), and I know how much he meant to the franchise. When Simms was drafted out of Morehead State in 1979, fans were not pleased drafting an unknown quarterback since I couldn’t even tell you what state his college is in. His first few years in the league he took an absolute beating both on the field and off the field from the brutal New York media. Eventually, Simms put it all together, and led the Giants to their first Super Bowl victory in 1986, and was MVP of the game by completing a record 88% of his passes in the game. He won another Super Bowl in 1990 but did not play in the game as he was injured. No, Simms is not a Hall of Famer, but he meant a lot to the franchise.
4. Odell Beckham Jr. – 2014 Draft, 1st Round 12th Overall Pick – LSU
Call me a homer on this one, but I love Odell Beckham Jr, absolutely love him. Yes, I know he comes across as a “me first” player, the diva wide receiver, a baby, blah, blah, blah, and quite frankly I don’t give a damn, the dude is an absolute baller. Since he stepped foot on the gridiron in 2014 where he has only played in 47 games, he’s reeled in 313 catches, 4,424 yards, and 38 touchdowns. Before he got to New York, the offense was near the bottom of the NFL, and Eli was playing terribly, and Beckham turned that all around. I’m aware that you can’t win a Super Bowl when a wide receiver is your highest paid player which Beckham wants to be, but the guy is an absolute bonafide superstar, and I hope the Giants give him a contract that keeps him happy. I’m already giddy just thinking about hearing Rosen to Beckham on Sports Center for the next decade.
3. Michael Strahan – 1993 Draft, 2nd Round 40th Overall Pick – Texas Southern
Strahan may be my favorite Giant of all time, and he was one of the biggest draft steals in NFL history. He’s also going to be the only non-first round pick on this list, so add that to his list of accomplishments. His 15 year career included 141.5 sacks (6th most in league history), 7 Pro Bowls, Defensive Player of the Year in 2001 where he set the record for most sacks in a season at 22.5, 4 First Team All-Pros, and a Super Bowl title where he was one of the anchors of my favorite Giant team ever, that beat the 18-0 New England Patriots in 2007. The younger generation may know him better for all the great work he’s done on television, but for me, Strahan will always be known for the ass whoopings he gave to quarterbacks every Sunday for Big Blue.
2. Phillip Rivers – 2004 NFL Draft, 1st Round 4th Overall Pick – NC State
Now I know what you’re probably thinking, “Uh hey idiot, Phil Rivers never played for the Giants.” Congrats on solving that brainbuster, Sherlock, but let me get to my point. Yes, everyone and their mother knows that Phil Rivers never played a down for the New York Football Giants, but they traded him for Eli Manning, who led the franchises to two Super Bowls, both of which where he beat Tom Brady and Bill Belichick, giving the tandem their only losses in the Super Bowl. So yes, Rivers was never a Giant, but I couldn’t put Eli on this list because the Giants technically never drafted him, so this is how I’m getting around that.
1. Lawrence Taylor – 1981 NFL Draft, 1st Round 2nd Overall Pick – UNC
If you were expecting someone else to be at the top of this list, well I’m sorry to tell you, but you’re an idiot. LT was without a doubt the best defensive player in NFL history, and it really isn’t up for debate. Where do I even begin? Left Tackles in today’s game should be thanking him every day for the giant contracts they get because he single handily changed the game with his pass rushing abilities from the quarterback’s blind side. Those pass rushing abilities resulted in 132.5 career sacks, 2 Super Bowl titles, Rookie of the Year in 1981, 10 Pro Bowls, 10 First Team All-Pros, 3 Defensive Player of the Year Awards, and the last defensive player in league history to win NFL MVP. He may not have been as good off the field as he was on the field (that’s putting it VERY lightly), but there never has, nor will there probably ever be a player like LT.