New York Giants: Top 10 Second Round Draft Picks of All-Time
By Neal Lynch
6. Brad Van Pelt – LB, MSU Spartans (1973, #40)
Approximate Value: 81
Average Approximate Value Per Season: 9
In the 1973 NFL Draft, the Giants selected two-time All-American and Maxwell Award winner (as a safety) Brad Van Pelt from Michigan State, two picks ahead of Tennessee Tech’s Jim Youngblood going to the Los Angeles Rams.
In 11 seasons with the Giants, Van Pelt played in 143 games, starting 135. In that time, he picked off 18 passes, recovered 13 fumbles and had 5 official sacks. Unfortunately, sacks weren’t an official stat until 1982, so, Van Pelt probably had about 20-30 more. Additionally, tackles weren’t recorded, but you’d imagine he must’ve collected a bunch – somewhere between 80-100 per season? – as he was a 5-time Pro Bowler from 1976 through 1980.
Van Pelt’s honors can be found below:
1976 1st Team All-Conf. Associated Press
1977 1st Team All-Conf. Pro Football Weekly, 1st Team All-Conf. UPI
1978 1st Team All-Conf. Sporting News, 2nd Team All-Conf. UPI, 2nd Team All-NFL Newspaper Ent. Assoc.
1979 1st Team All-Conf. Pro Football Weekly, 1st Team All-Conf. Sporting News, 1st Team All-Conf. UPI
1980 2nd Team All-Conf. UPI
Van Pelt’s teammate and brother from another mother, Harry Carson, wrote an eulogy for Brad after he passed in February 2009, stating, “With his tall frame, boyishly good looks, blond hair and wearing his #10 jersey Brad played with great pride representing the New York Football Giants.” Carson and Van Pelt along with fellow linebackers Brian Kelley and Lawrence Taylor formed “The Crunch Bunch”, widely considered one of the best linebacking groups in NFL history.
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