1. David Diehl, OL, 2003 NFL Draft: 5th Round (160 Overall)
You can make a strong argument for Jacobs to be in this spot, but when you consider longevity, consistency, position value, versatility, and the fact Diehl was taken 50 picks later than Jacobs, the argument for Diehl to be No. 1 is even stronger.
Diehl was the epitome of versatility and consistency. He would go on to play 164 regular season games for the Giants, and 175 total games including the post season. He started every game for the first seven years of his career – 127 straight games – and only missed a total of 12 games in 11 seasons.
In his rookie season, David Diehl was plugged in at right guard and started all 16 games, becoming the first Giants rookie to accomplish that since Mark Bavaro in 1985. The following season, he started all 16 game at right tackle. the season after that, 15 game started at left guard.
To visualize how versatile Diehl was, he started 75 games at left tackle, 43 at left guard, 26 at right tackle, and 27 at right guard in his career, including the postseason.
This level of versatility is extremely rare, usually teams will have a player who can play both tackle spots or both guard spots, but someone who can plug and play in 4 of the 5 offensive line positions is truly remarkable.
Perhaps the most impressive stat for Diehl is the fact that he was only penalized 14 times in his career for holding, which averages out to just about 1 hold per year.
Diehl was named a 2nd Team All-Pro in 2008 and named to his only Pro Bowl in 2009. He was as instrumental as any player on the team for both of the 2000s Super Bowl runs and was a true anchor and leader of the franchise for his 11-year career.
It’s hard to deny the impact Diehl had on this franchise and the fact that he wasn’t taken until the 5th round makes it all the more sweeter. David Diehl is by far the best late round draft pick for the NY Giants in the last 20 years.