3. Victor Cruz
Everyone loves a good underdog story, and Victor Cruz’s story is one worth telling. After going undrafted in 2010, Cruz signed with the Giants and very quickly made a name for himself. Shortly after landing with the Giants, Cruz helped lead the team to a preseason victory over the Jets in dominant fashion. He caught six passes for 145 and three touchdowns while getting the attention of then-Jets head coach Rex Ryan:
While that epic 2010 preseason performance didn’t amount to much playing time in 2010, Cruz got his chance in 2011 and seized the opportunity. After scoring his first career touchdown, he revealed his patented salsa dance celebration to honor his grandmother.
That was only the beginning for Cruz in 2011, as he broke out in a monster way. He caught 82 passes for 1,536 yards and nine touchdowns, earning AP Second Team All-Pro honors. In Week 16 of the 2011 season, he tied the NFL record for longest reception with a 99-yard touchdown catch against none other than the Jets to keep the Giants’ playoff hopes alive.
Cruz followed up an incredible 2011 season with 86 receptions, 1,092 receiving yards, 10 touchdowns, and a Pro Bowl appearance. He played a key role in the Giants' 2012 Super Bowl run, posting 10 catches for 142 yards in the NFC Championship Game vs. the 49ers.
Unfortunately, Cruz’s career was cut short due to injury. He was forced to retire in 2018 after suffering a torn patellar tendon that he was never able to recover from. Despite that, he's an NY legend and a guy fans will always love.