Anthony McCarron, SNY.tv | Twitter |
Sure, there will be lots of eyeballs on the Giants’ two first-round picks in Thursday’s NFL draft. But they need an infusion of talent from the rounds below, too.
In other words, is there another Harry Carson or Mark Bavaro out there? Both were fourth-round draft choices who became stars. They once found George Martin in the 11th round.
Or, more to the point for the current Giants, who need a young quarterback, can they find the next Tom Brady? Obviously he is the former Patriots’ sixth-rounder who was the biggest steal in draft history.
OK, maybe that’s asking a bit much. But there are gems to be had beyond the splashy first round. In honor of those, here’s a look at the Giants’ biggest draft steals over the last 25 years, some of whom became Super Bowl champs.
Charles Way (6th round, 1995, No. 206 overall)
A hard-nosed fullback (remember those?), Way emerged from draft obscurity to play in 75 games (55 starts) over five years with Big Blue. “Get Out of My” Way scored 14 total touchdowns and amassed 1,356 yards rushing and another 898 receiving in his career. He later worked for the Giants in player development.
Roman Oben (3rd round, 1996, No. 66 overall)
Oben, the first player born in Cameroon to be drafted, was the Giants’ left tackle from 1997-99, starting all 48 games. In all, he played 12 seasons in the NFL and was on the Tampa Bay Buccaneers squad that won Super Bowl XXXVII.
Sam Garnes (5th round, 1997, No. 136 overall)
The Bronx native was a delightful safety surprise for the Giants who was all-New York football – he played five seasons for the Giants and two for the Jets. Garnes finished his career with 10 interceptions, including a big-time highlight in his first-ever game, when he picked off Rodney Peete and returned it 95 yards for a touchdown in the fourth quarter of a Giants’ victory over Philadelphia.
David Diehl (5th round, 2003, No. 160 overall)
Diehl seized his chance as a low pick and made the Giants look bright. He helped the team win both of their recent Super Bowls and played in 11 playoff games overall. Diehl, who played in 164 games (160 starts) in his 11-year career, also made the Pro Bowl in 2009.
David Tyree (6th round, 2003, No. 211 overall)
Fifty-one slots after Diehl, the Giants made a pick that ultimately resulted in a forever highlight for the franchise and a 2005 Pro Bowl trip as a special teamer. Sure, Tyree had only 54 catches in five years in East Rutherford, but his “Helmet Catch” in Super Bowl XLII will never be forgotten. With Rodney Harrison of the Patriots draped over him, Tyree caught a pass from Eli Manning, pressing the ball against his helmet, to keep alive the Giants’ winning drive.
Justin Tuck (3rd round, 2005, No. 74 overall)
Tuck, a two-time Pro Bowler, had 60.5 sacks in nine years with the Giants and, while those numbers are terrific, his performances in both of the Giants’ Super Bowl victories over Brady and the Patriots are his Big Blue calling cards. Tuck had two sacks and a forced fumble in Super Bowl XLII and two more sacks in XLVI. Many believed he should’ve been the MVP of either game – or both – instead of Manning.
Brandon Jacobs (4th round, 2005, No. 110 overall)
At 6-foot-4 and 264 pounds, Jacobs could be a punishing runner and remains the Giants franchise leader in rushing touchdowns with 60. In the playoff run en route to the Super Bowl XLII title, Jacobs scored four touchdowns. He also was part of a nifty nickname trio – he was the “Earth” of “Earth, Wind and Fire” along with Derrick Ward (Wind) and Ahmad Bradshaw (Fire).
Ahmad Bradshaw (7th round, 2007, No. 250 overall)
Only five running backs have more rushing yards in Giants history than Bradshaw, who ran for 4,232 from 2007-2012. He had two 1,000-yard seasons and scored some big touchdowns in big moments – his six-yard TD run in Super Bowl XLVI completed the Giants’ comeback against New England and he also scored the clinching TD in Week 16 of 2007, helping the Giants nail down the postseason spot that set them toward Super Bowl XLII.
Mario Manningham (3rd round, 2008, No. 95 overall)
Manning to Manningham is one of those moments that no one in blue will ever forget. With the Giants down by two points in Super Bowl XLVI, they started a drive at their own 12-yard line with 3:46 left. Manning hit Manningham down the left side for a 38-yard gain, with Manningham’s great effort at keeping his feet in bounds sealing the catch. It’s one of the most clutch plays in Super Bowl history and a nice highlight for a receiver who had 160 catchers and 18 touchdowns in five years for the Giants.
B.J. Goodson (4th round, 2016, No. 109 overall)
The Clemson product was the 15th linebacker selected in the ’16 draft and has emerged as a promising starter for Big Blue. In his first-ever start in 2017, he had 18 tackles (14 solo) against the Cowboys. Last year, Goodson played in 15 games and started 13 times, recording 61 tackles (44 solo) and four tackles for loss.