The Giants’ best NFL Draft steals

The Giants’ best NFL Draft steals

The single best draft pick made by the New York Football Giants has to be tackle Roosevelt Brown, a 27th-round selection out of Morgan State in 1953, when there were 30 rounds.

All Brown did was become a nine-time Pro Bowler, Hall of Famer and earn a place on the NFL 100th Anniversary All-Time Team.

Anyone can draft a Lawrence Taylor — except for Bum Phillips and the Saints, who opted for running back George Rogers with the first pick of the 1981 draft, leaving LT for George Young and the Giants with the second pick.

The NFL draft dwindled to 20 rounds in 1960, to 17 rounds in 1967, to 12 rounds in 1977, to eight rounds in 1993, and has been seven rounds since 1994.

So naturally there have been no other grand slams akin to a Rosey Brown. But you can become a playoff contender and/or win a Super Bowl if you are able supplement yours stars with afterthoughts and/or overachievers.

Who are the draft choices over the Super Bowl era who defied the odds and the experts and gave the Giants more bang for their bucks than expected?

1. Harry Carson, MLB, South Carolina State
A fourth-round pick in 1976 who converted from defensive end and dominated the point of attack on his way to the Hall of Fame.

2. David Diehl, OT, Illinois
A fifth-round pick in 2003. A hulking tough, smart, two-time Super Bowl champion who started 160 games at four different positions who played 11 years before retiring a Giant.

3. George Martin, DE, Oregon
An 11th-round pick in 1975 who played 14 years before retiring as a Giant with a Super Bowl ring. A Parcells locker-room lieutenant and voice of wisdom and reason.

4. Jessie Armstead, ILB, Miami
An undersized eighth-round pick in 1993. A tackling machine who played nine years for the Giants and became co-captain with Michael Strahan. “I don’t like people who just talk and don’t back it up,” Armstead said once. “I’m an old-school-type football player. On the field I’m going to show you first, then I will talk.”

5. Mark Bavaro, TE, Notre Dame
A fourth-round pick in 1985. Didn’t like the Rambo nickname but he was as tough as anyone. Only his barking knees prevented him from playing more than six years for the Bill Parcells Giants. Caught 28 TD passes and demolished any defender(s) in his path.

6. Howard Cross, TE, Alabama
A sixth-round pick in 1989 known as a fierce blocker. Caught 201 passes and 17 TDs over 13 years as a Giant, and only a Giant.

7. Keith Hamilton, DT Pittsburgh
A fourth-round pick in 1992 who slipped because of character questions. An interior enforcer who registered 60 sacks in 173 games over 12 years as a Giant, and only a Giant.

8. Brian Kelly, LB, Cal-Lutheran
A 14th-round pick in 1973 with 15 INTs and 11 fumble recoveries in 143 games and 11 seasons as a Giant, and only a Giant.

Brandon JacobsPaul J. Bereswill

9. Brandon Jacobs, RB, Southern Illinois
A fourth-round pick in 2005. The bruising intimidator and Super Bowl champion scored 60 TDs and rushed for 5,087 yards over eight seasons as a Giant.

10. Doug Riesenberg, OT, Cal
A sixth-round pick in 1987. Started 122 consecutive games after filling in for Karl Nelson and was a Super Bowl XXV champion during his nine-year Giants career.

11. Bill Ard, OG, Wake Forest
An eighth-round draft choice in 1981 who started 123 games and was the LG on the Super Bowl XXI Giants.

12. Zak DeOssie, LB/LS, Brown
Long-snappers are people too. A fourth-round pick in 2007. A 13-year Giant, and only a Giant.

13. Perry Williams, CB, N.C. State
A seventh-round pick in 1973. 18 INTs in 146 games over 10 seasons as a Giant, and only a Giant.

14. Dave Meggett, RB, Towson
A fifth-round pick in 1989 who averaged more than 10 yards per punt return in five of his six Giants seasons. Dual threat who excelled in the passing game (233 receptions, 10 TDs).

15. Ahmad Bradshaw, RB, Marshall
A seventh-round pick in 2007 who scored 32 TDs in his six seasons as a Giant and was respected as one of the toughest pound-for-pound Giants.

16. Gary Reasons, ILB, Northwestern State
A fourth-round pick in 1984. 10 INTs, eight fumble recoveries and a Super Bowl XXV ring in eight seasons as a Giant.

17. Lionel Manuel, WR, Pacific
A seventh-round pick in 1984. Super Bowl XXV champion who caught 232 passes for 3,941 yards and 23 TDs in seven years as a Giant, and only a Giant.

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