Dave Gettleman will be looking for steals in the 2018 NFL Draft. Luckily, he has these historic New York Giants late-round examples to draw from.
It won’t be good enough for Dave Gettleman to just hit on the New York Giants‘ first-round pick. He’ll also need to hit on the Giants mid and late-round selections as well.
The Giants have a history of finding gems in the late rounds, making them one of the most successful franchises in the NFL over the last four decades.
Here’s a look at some of the best late-round draft picks of the Super Bowl era that were draft-day steals and would ultimately go on to be some of the greatest players in the history of the Giants.
Let’s take a trip down memory lane and take a look at some late successes in hopes that the Giants can repeat some of these underrated moves.
George Martin, DE: 1975 11th Round (262nd overall)
Martin played with the Giants from 1975 to 1988 and is enshrined in the team’s Ring of Honor. In his 14 seasons with Big Blue, he missed just six games and his 46 career sacks are seventh-most in the history of the franchise.
He, along with Hall of Famer Harry Carson, would slowly build the Giants into a legitimate defense.
At the time of his retirement in 1988, no defensive lineman had scored more touchdowns than Martin (6). His most memorable touchdown came in Week 12 of the 1986 season when he intercepted John Elway and ran it back 78 yards. Bill Parcells called it one of the greatest plays he’s ever seen.
He would make another memorable play against Elway two months later in Super Bowl 21 when he sacked Elway in the end zone for a safety. That play helped change the momentum of the game and the Giants would go on to win their first Super Bowl by a final of 39-20.
The 201 games he appeared in as a Giant are the fourth most in the history of the franchise.
Jessie Armstead, LB: 1993 8th Round (207th overall)
Armstead played for the Giants from 1993 to 2001 and was one of the best linebackers of his era being named to five Pro Bowl teams and four All-Pro teams.
Following Lawrence Taylor’s retirement after the 1993 season, Armstead and Michael Strahan would eventually become the leaders of the defense and helped them reach Super Bowl 35.
His speed and athleticism allowed him to make plays from sideline to sideline. During his career, he had four seasons in which he recorded over 100 tackles. His career-high came in 1997 when he had 133.
He finished his Giants career with 772 tackles, 31.5 sacks, 12 interceptions, 12 forced fumbles and two defensive touchdowns.
He may not have won a Super Bowl as a player, but he is without a doubt one of the best players in the history of the franchise, which is why he was inducted into the Giants’ Ring of Honor in 2010.
Ahmad Bradshaw, RB: 2007 7th Round (250th overall)
Bradshaw played for the Giants from 2007 to 2012 and his 4,232 rushing yards are sixth most in the history of the franchise.
After seldom playing for most of his rookie season, Bradshaw made one of the biggest plays of the season when he scored on an 88-yard touchdown run in the Giants’ Week 16 matchup against the Bills that sealed the victory and earned the Giants a playoff berth. The Giants would go on to ride that wave of momentum all the way to Super Bowl 42 when they defeated the undefeated Patriots 17-14.
Four years later in Super Bowl 46, he scored the game-winning touchdown that gave the Giants a 21-17 victory over (guess who)the Patriots.
From 2010-2012, he led the Giants in rushing, and in two of those seasons, he had over 1,000 yards.
He was without a shadow of a doubt one of the most important and productive players in the Giants’ two recent Super Bowl runs.
If Gettleman can draft players late in the draft that can be as productive as these three, the Giants will be contenders once again.