New York Giants: Their best players since 1970

Photo by Mike Powell/Allsport/Getty Images
Photo by Mike Powell/Allsport/Getty Images /
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Giants With Five Pro Bowl Appearances

Brad Van Pelt and Jessie Armstead.

Van Pelt was selected in the second round of the 1973 NFL Draft by the Giants out of Michigan State, where he was a two-time All-American at safety. BVP was moved to outside linebacker by the Giants’ coaches due to his size (6’5″, 235) and it was the right move. He was a long, athletic presence in the Giants’ 3-4 defense for years to come, getting named to five Pro Bowls. Van Pelt was the first of the famed “Crunch Bunch” to arrive in New York. He also was one of the few shining stars of the Giants’ Wilderness Years, playing for five different head coaches in four different stadiums in three different states over his 11 seasons with the Giants. Many wondered why Van Pelt, a linebacker, was permitted to wear No. 10 which was reserved for quarterbacks, kickers and punters at the time. The Giants answer? The versatile BVP was also listed as their backup kicker.

Armstead is the classic case of a player who was underdrafted. The Giants found the ultimate bargain in the Miami Hurricane star when he fell to them in the eighth round of the 1993 NFL Draft, a result of suffering an ACL tear in college. Before Miami, Armstead was part of the Carter High School team that was portrayed in the film, ‘Friday Night Lights’. Armstead would turn his career back around with the Giants, first as a special teamer before becoming one of the best linebackers in the NFL. He made five straight Pro Bowls from 1997-2001 and was a member of the Giants Super Bowl XXXV team.