The Giant Insider|June - July 2020
I figured since there are no mini-camps or practices on the immediate horizon and while there is still some excitement around the latest Giants’ draft, that now would be a good time to reminisce and take a stroll down memory lane. The list below are the top Mara Tech draft choices of the 20th Century. The criteria for this list are simple — greatness and value by round. There will surely be debate and letters written to me with unmistakable venom — “how could you leave off Brad Van Pelt?!?!” That’s fine. With everything going on in the world, I truly welcome any and all sports debate.
Lawrence Taylor, Round 2, UNC, 1981
Okay, I promise they’re not in order but any Giants’ list regarding anything positive needs to have LT at the very top. He was the greatest defensive player in NFL history, and I thank the Lord every day that the New Orleans Saints drafted running back George Rogers first overall in that draft.
Alphonse “Tuffy” Leemans, Round 2 George Washington University
(yes, they apparently once had a football team), 1936 The Giants nailed this pick in the second round of the NFL’s first draft. Hall of Famer Leemans’ Number 4 is retired, and he was one of the premier running backs in the NFL during his career.
Frank Gifford, Round 1, USC, 1952
Seems like an easy draft pick for the Giants to make but remember, this was one year removed from the team drafting Kyle Rote first overall in 1951. Gifford is arguably on the Giants’ “Mount Rushmore.”
Rosey Brown, Round 27, Morgan State, 1953
When it comes to value, this is the greatest of all the Giants’ draft picks. Round 27? Who the hell did the scouting on these teams in the early ‘50s? Brown is a Hall of Famer and the franchise’s greatest offensive lineman.
Rosey Grier, Round 3, Penn State, 1955
Grier was the centerpiece of TWO incredible defensive lines, the other being the Rams’ “Fearsome Foursome.” The three-time All Pro should have never been part of the franchise’s purge of the early ‘60s.
Jimmy Patton, Round 8, Ole Miss, 1955
Patton, along with his partner in greatness, Emlen Tunnell, fortified the backend of the Giants’ defense in the team’s Golden Era.
Sam Huff, Round 3, West Virginia, 1956
Huff was the heart and soul of the Giants’ defense during the team’s championship runs. “The Violent World of Sam Huff” forever changed the way America looked at football. Like Grier, he should have retired a Giant.
Don Maynard, Round 9, Texas-El Paso, 1957
Great job drafting him, horrible decision to release him. That’s right, TGI Nation, if you did not know, the Giants released a Hall of Fame wide receiver AFTER having the presence of mind to select him.
Homer Jones, Round 20, Texas Southern, 1963
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June - July 2020