Oct 10, 2013; Chicago, IL, USA; A detailed view of New York Giants helmet before the game against the Chicago Bears at Soldier Field. Mandatory Credit: Mike DiNovo-USA TODAY Sports
1. Mark Bavaro
We’ve hit our plateau on the Giants’ all-time tight end list and the winner is Mark Bavaro. Nicknamed “Rambo”, Bavaro came out of Notre Dame as an elite player that got picked up by the Giants in the fourth round of the 1985 NFL draft. Despite only playing five years in the blue, Bavaro goes down as the one of the greatest tight ends in Giants history.
Coming out of college, Bavaro was known for his intense blocking ability and played the role of a run-blocking tight end with force. Bavaro was quiet around the locker room, but on the field was a complete beast hence earning his nickname and a striking resemblance of Sylvester Stallone. In his rookie season, Bavaro broke a team record of 12 receptions in a single-game coming from the hands of quarterback Phil Simms.
Following his rookie year, in 1986, Bavaro broke the record for most receptions by a tight-end in a season with 66, passing Tucker. Bavaro’s starting spot would not be replaced for good reason as he went on to be two-time Pro Bowl winner and two-time Superbowl winner. Bavaro was pivotal in SuperBowl XXI as he scored the go-ahead touchdown that would give the Giants victory.
His accolades continue by having the most 100-yard receiving games by a tight end in Giants history with nine and the only Giants tight-end to gain over 1,000 yards in a season. Bavaro truly fits the description of a true tight end with blocking, fast hands and intense approach.
Bavaro’s run with Giants ended due to a severe knee injury and never fully recovered. He would go on to the Cleveland Browns in 1992 and retire with the Philadelphia Eagles in 1994.
Even though his career was short, Bavaro’s name will forever be embedded in Giants history, especially being inducted in the New York Giants’ Ring Of Honor in 2011.