Top 15 draft picks in NY Giants history

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It’s no secret that when it comes to the NY Giants, for many decades now they’ve been defined by a heavy focus on defensive draft picks. When one looks at who should be considered their best draft picks in franchise history, you’ll see a common theme that defense is at the core of some of their greatest players to ever play the game.

So much so, that it makes that famous mantra of “defense wins championships” oh so very true. Now, it should be known that when it comes to picking the top 15 draft picks in franchise history, it’s all subjective with a few names that will forever be etched in this category.

It all depends on who you grew up watching, what the record books hold, and who had the most impact during their time with Big Blue. Whether they won a plethora of football games, made a bunch of Pro Bowls, or helped do their part to win a Super Bowl championship, these top draft picks have left their mark on the city that never sleeps.

Without further ado, here’s a list of the top 15 draft picks in Giants history ranging from speedy wide receivers, tough-as-nails linebackers, and quarterbacks who led the way towards greatness. These football players that were drafted by the Giants will always give fans many fond memories for providing some of the best football memories ever.

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NY Giants: 15. Wide Receiver Odell Beckham Jr.

I know, I know. The Giants may have never won a Super Bowl with wide receiver Odell Beckham Jr. on the team but there is no denying the impact he had during his tenure with the franchise. Drafted by the Giants in the 2014 NFL Draft, Beckham immediately became a household name thanks to everything he brought to the table.

Beckham infused the Giants’ offense with speed, premium route-running, and gave fans arguably one of the greatest moments in franchise history with his legendary one-handed catch against the Dallas Cowboys on primetime football. It was such a sensational catch that the football world couldn’t believe it as that moment went viral on every social media network in the world.

Needless to say, whether you love him or hate him, OBJ will forever be remembered for many things in his career and it all started with this catch. Thankfully, it was in a Giants uniform and against their NFC East rival Cowboys, something we can always remind “America’s Team” about until the end of time.

For the five years he spent in the big apple, Beckham Jr. made the Pro Bowl three straight times all starting in his rookie season. He put up big numbers and was always a threat on offense every single time he stepped foot on the field. It’s a shame he couldn’t start and end his career with the Giants but he provided Big Blue with many incredible moments on the gridiron.

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NY Giants: 14. Linebacker Harry Carson

When you spend 13 years with a franchise, win two Super Bowl championships, nine Pro Bowls, and were remembered for being a human tackling machine, you will undoubtedly be one of the best to ever do it. Such is the case with linebacker Harry Carson and how he put Big Blue on the map from 1976 all the way until 1988.

The 6-2 and 237 lbs linebacker truly made a name for himself for his sheer speed, hitting abilities, and the fact that he was one of the best at disrupting opposing offenses with precision. He spent his entire career with the Giants and made everyone else around him on defense shine.

Believe it or not, Carson was drafted by the Giants in Round 4 of the 1976 NFL Draft as it goes to show that it doesn’t matter what round you get drafted in but what you make of the golden opportunity presented in front of you. Carson took this golden opportunity and turned it into a Pro Football Hall of Fame career.

In his 13 seasons with the Giants, Carson totaled 14 fumble recoveries, 19 sacks, 11 interceptions, and had many opponents remember him for how hard he hit in the heat of the moment. Make no mistake about it, Carson will go down in franchise history as one of the best draft picks ever made by the Giants.

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NY Giants: 13. Defensive Back/Coordinator Tom Landry

Before he became one of the greatest head coaches ever to do it on the Cowboys, Tom Landry was actually a member of the Giants. Oh yes, it was back in the 1947 NFL Draft that the Giants selected him as a defensive back due to his high football IQ for that side of the football.

Landry not only played defensive back for the Giants back then but would later become part of their coaching staff as a defensive coordinator once his playing days were over. It was back in 1954 that Landry created the popular 4-3 defense on the Giants and well, the rest made it into the record books.

At the time, this was revolutionary due to how it featured four defensive linemen and three new positions to roam the field at middle, left, and right linebacker. Throughout the years and well, decades later, the most success the Giants have had was when they deployed a variation of the 4-3 defense with its roots deep into the rich history of Landry’s incredible defensive mind.

One can only imagine what would have happened if Landry never devised this staple defense back in the day when he was a defensive coordinator for the Giants. Sure, he might have perfected it when he eventually went on to be a head coach for the Cowboys but he got such an opportunity thanks to what he built and mastered on the Giants beforehand.