New York Giants: Top 15 first-round draft picks all-time
By Henry Buggy
The New York Giants hold their highest draft selection since 1981 and have a franchise-changing decision to make with the No. 2 overall pick in the 2018 NFL Draft.
Big Blue has had plenty of hits and misses on first-round picks since the draft first started in 1936. The franchise has had 16 players enter the Pro Football Hall of Fame as New York Giants, but only two were first-round picks.
New York’s first-round pick in 1946, George Connor, technically gives the G-Men three Pro Football Hall of Fame first-round selections. But Connor spent his entire NFL career with the Chicago Bears. For that reason, Connor didn’t crack GMEN HQ’s list for the top 15 first-round picks of all-time.
While there are only two Pro Football Hall of Famers on the list, it’s also a testament to New York’s front offices and scouting departments over the generations. Michael Strahan, Sam Huff, Roosevelt Brown, Harry Carson, Justin Tuck, Tiki Barber, Leonard Marshall, Chris Snee and Amani Toomer are just some of the franchise’s all-time greats to be selected after the first round.
The Giants have won four NFL Championships and hoisted four Lombardi Trophies. Two of their NFL Championships (1927, 1934) came before the draft even existed. This list is ever-changing, as current and future players look to leave their own legacy with Big Blue. Who knows, maybe this year’s first-round pick becomes the next great to join this list? Only time will tell. But for now, the G-Men have more than enough history complete this list.
In 1980, the Giants selected Colorado’s All-American defensive back Mark Haynes with the No. 8 overall pick.
Through his first five seasons, the 5-foot-11, 194-pound cornerback recorded 13 interceptions in 75 games. Haynes was named a First-Team All-Pro twice (1982, 1984) and was three-time Pro Bowler with the Giants.
Unfortunately like many former Giants, Haynes’ time with the franchise ended on a sour note. He forced his trade to the Denver Broncos following a contract holdout in 1985. Haynes would go on to make three Super Bowl appearances with his new team, which included Big Blue’s Super Bowl XXI victory.
Some may argue that Haynes’ departure from the Giants should leave him off this list. There are other first-round picks that actually won Super Bowl titles with the franchise. But few had the impact on the field or played at the elite level Haynes did in his six-year stint with the team.
The Giants received two second-round picks and a sixth-round selection for the veteran defensive back. Haynes played in 137 games, making the playoffs four times over a 10-year career. He was inducted into Colorado’s Athletic Hall of Fame in 2017.