Michael Strahan, Lawrence Taylor headline best draft picks for Giants

The New York Giants have been drafting players since 1936. Here’s a look at the best draft picks by position for the Giants:


Quarterback: Phil Simms, first round, 1979, Morehead State. Eli Manning was an easy pick (or trade) in 2004. But the Simms selection took guts. The Giants selected a player from Morehouse State No. 7 overall. He grew into one of the best quarterbacks in franchise history.

Running back: Frank Gifford, first round, 1952, USC. Brandon Jacobs might be the best value in the fourth round at this position, but Gifford is the best pick. He was the 11th overall selection and was inducted into the Hall of Fame after accounting for 91 rushing, receiving and passing touchdowns in 12 seasons for the Giants.

Wide receiver: Odell Beckham Jr., first round, 2014, LSU. Victor Cruz was the Giants' best find as an undrafted free agent. Beckham was their best draft pick, even though he’s only three years into his career. He was the third wide receiver drafted that year, but already is rewriting the Giant's record book.

Tight end: Mark Bavaro, fourth round, 1985, Notre Dame. He’s easily the greatest tight end in Giants history, and he was acquired in the fourth round. Bavaro had 4,733 yards receiving in his career and was a dominant blocker for two Super Bowl teams.

Tackle: Rosey Brown, 27th round, 1953, Morgan State. Any time you find a Hall of Famer in the 27th round, it has to be considered an all-time great draft pick. Brown played all 13 years of his career with the Giants and missed just four games.

Guard: Chris Snee, second round, 2004, Boston College. He might have been coach Tom Coughlin’s son-in-law, but Snee could play. He was a four-time Pro Bowl guard, an All-Pro and two-time Super Bowl champion.

Center: Ray Wietecha, 12th round, 1950, Northwestern. This was the toughest position because Bart Oates, who started his career in the USFL, didn’t qualify. Wietecha played 10 seasons with the Giants, never missed a game, made four Pro Bowls, one All-Pro team and won a championship.


End: Michael Strahan, second round, 1993, Texas Southern. He was the Giants' top pick that year. It worked out well, leaving the game with a Super Bowl ring and the record for sacks in a season (22.5). He's in the Hall of Fame and on your television every day, too. What can't he do?

Tackle: Rosey Grier, third round, 1955, Penn State. The 31st overall selection helped the Giants to four Eastern Conference championships and one NFL title. He was a Pro Bowl player who was later part of the "Fearsome Foursome" with the Rams.

Linebacker: Lawrence Taylor, first round, 1981, North Carolina. This was the hardest choice with Harry Carson (fourth round) and Sam Huff (third round) also in the Hall of Fame. But one of, if not the greatest defensive player in NFL history, has to be considered their best selection at this position -- even if it was with the second pick in the draft. Taylor had 132.5 sacks and nine interceptions in 184 games. He was a 10-time Pro Bowl selection in 13 seasons.

Cornerback: Tom Landry, 20th round, 1947, Texas. Emlen Tunnell and Dick Lynch weren’t drafted by the Giants. Landry was selected twice by the Giants, once as a futures pick and once in a dispersal draft. He had 32 career interceptions and was also a pretty good punter. He turned into a pretty good coach, too. He gets bonus points for that.

Safety: Spider Lockhart, 13th round, 1965, North Texas. He made two Pro Bowls and had 41 interceptions in 11 seasons. Pretty good for a 13th-round pick at a position where the Giants haven’t done traditionally well in the draft.


Kicker: Matt Stover, 12th round, 1990, Louisiana Tech. Thin pickings here. So Stover is the choice even though he never played a game for the Giants. He was, however, on the injured list during the 1990 Super Bowl season. He ended up having a pretty good career elsewhere. Stover played 19 seasons for the Browns, Ravens and Colts.

Punter: Don Chandler, fifth round, 1956, Florida. He punted and kicked for nine years with the Giants before joining Vince Lombardi in Green Bay. Chandler made a Pro Bowl, but is more known for winning two Super Bowls and four NFL championships. His career punting average of 43.5 yards wasn’t too shabby, either.