GLENDALE, AZ - FEBRUARY 03: Running back Ahmad Bradshaw #44 of the New York Giants carries the football through the New England Patriots defense in the second quarter during Super Bowl XLII on February 3, 2008 at the University of Phoenix Stadium in Glendale, Arizona.
(Photo by Harry How/Getty Images)

The 2007 New York Giants draft class was Jerry Reese’s first (and best) class, and it stepped up in a big way in Super Bowl 42.

Jason Leach

Thanks, in large part, to the 2007 draft class, the New York Giants defeated the 18-0 New England Patriots in Super Bowl 42. It was the first draft class selected by Jerry Reese, and it would turn out to be his best.

Round Player School
1 (No. 20 overall) Aaron Ross, CB Texas
2 (No. 51 overall) Steve Smith, WR USC
3 (No. 81 overall) Jay Alford, DT Penn State
4 (No. 116 overall) Zak DeOssie, LB Brown
5 (No. 153 overall) Kevin Boss, TE Western Oregon
6 (No. 189 overall) Adam Koets, OT Oregon State
7 (No. 224 overall) Michael Johnson, S Arizona
7 (No. 250 overall) Ahmad Bradshaw, RB Marshall

Super Bowl 42 will always be remembered for David Tyree’s helmet catch after Eli Manning miraculously avoided a sack, Plaxico Burress’ game-winning touchdown, and how the Giants defensive front, led by Michael Strahan and Justin Tuck, relentlessly battered Tom Brady all game long.

But what’s also recalled is how many rookies stepped up to help the Giants win their third Lombardi Trophy.

The Giants and their fans can only hope that the 2020 draft class will be able to contribute to a Super Bowl victory like the 2007 draft class did.

Steve Smith (Super Bowl 42 stats: Five receptions for 50 yards)

Smith’s five receptions and 50 yards were both second-most for the Giants in the game. The biggest play Smith made was converting a 3rd-and-11 on the game-winning drive in which he caught a 12-yard completion from Manning. On the next play, Manning connected with Burress on the game-winning 13-yard touchdown.

Kevin Boss (Super Bowl 42 stats: One reception for 45 yards)

Boss’ lone catch at the beginning of the fourth quarter with the Giants trailing 7-3 helped spark an offense that failed to score points in its previous five possessions. His 45-yard reception gave the Giants a 1st-and-10 at the Patriots’ 35-yard line. Five plays later, Manning connected with Tyree on a five-yard score.

Ahmad Bradshaw (Super Bowl 42 stats: Nine carries for 45 yards, one reception for 3 yards.)

Bradshaw’s 45 yards led the Giants in rushing, but the biggest play he made was recovering a fumble at the Giants’ 30-yard line in the second quarter. He wrestled the ball away from Patriots linebacker Pierre Woods in order for Big Blue to retain possession. Had he not stole the ball from Woods, the Patriots would’ve been in prime position to extend their lead.

Jay Alford (Super Bowl 42 stats: Two combined tackles, one sack)

Alford earned the fifth and final sack of Brady on a second-down play during the Patriots’ final drive, which all but ended the game. Brady would then attempt two deep passes to Randy Moss on the next two plays that were both incomplete, giving the Giants the win.

Aaron Ross (Super Bowl 42 stats: Two combined tackles)

Ross played corner and slot corner in Super Bowl 42, and although he didn’t make any plays that stand out, he and the rest of the defense deserve a ton of credit for shutting down the Patriots’ high-powered offense.

Michael Johnson (Super Bowl 42 stats: Two combined tackles)

Johnson saw time at safety in dime packages, and although he didn’t come up huge in the game, he helped prevent the Patriots from making plays downfield.

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