BACKDRAFT SERIES: For 16 days leading up to the 2011 NFL Draft, we're rolling out capsule draft histories of each of the 32 NFL Teams.
2011 Draft Position:
First-Ever Draft Pick:
• Art Lewis, T, Ohio University (1st Round, 9th overall, in 1936)
Most Recent Draft Pick:
• Matt Dodge, P, East Carolina (7th round, 221st overall, in 2010)
Hall of Famers Drafted:
• "Tuffy" Leemans - 2nd Round (18th overall), 1936
• George Connor - 1st Round (5th overall), 1946 (Also selected in 15th round (145th overall) of 1945 draft by Pittsburgh Steelers. The NFL ruled the pick to be ineligible and thus voided the selection.)
• Art Donovan – 22nd Round (204th overall), 1947 (Also selected in 3rd Round of special selection draft, 1950 by Baltimore Colts of AAFC. A year later, after Colts disbanded, he was selected by Cleveland Browns in 4th round, 50th overall, but was traded to New York Yanks before the 1951 season began. Also selected in the 17th round, 131st overall, in the 1949 AAFC draft by the Buffalo Bills)
• Frank Gifford - 1st Round (11th overall), 1952
• Roosevelt Brown - 27th Round (321st overall), 1953
• Sam Huff - 3rd Round (30th overall), 1956
• Don Maynard - 9th Round (109th overall), 1957
• Buck Buchanan – 19th Round (265th overall), 1963 (Also selected in 1st Round (1st overall) of AFL Draft by Kansas City Chiefs).
• Harry Carson - 4th Round (105th overall), 1976
• Lawrence Taylor - 1st Round (2nd overall), 1981
• Gary Zimmerman - 1st Round (3rd overall) in 1984 supplemental draft
First Overall Pick in the NFL Draft:
• 1965 – Tucker Fredrickson, RB, Auburn
• 1951 – Kyle Rote, HB, Southern Methodist
Did you know?
The Giants finished with a woeful 1-12-1 mark in 1966. Normally that would have landed a team the first overall pick in the next draft. But, that was not the case for the Giants as the top pick in the 1967 AFL/NFL Draft went to the expansion New Orleans Saints.
It didn't matter anyway for New York as they weren't on the clock until the fourth round as they had dealt away their first three draft picks that season. The third-round pick went to Cleveland in a trade.
The first- and second-rounders were part of a blockbuster deal that was completed less than a week before the draft. New York threw those picks into a package that went to the Minnesota Vikings in exchange for future Hall of Fame quarterback Fran Tarkenton. A few years later, in January 1972, New York shipped Tarkenton back to Minnesota in a deal that landed them several veterans and draft picks, one of which turned into linebacker Brad Van Pelt.
"Most people have never heard of me. But scouts from roughly 20 NFL teams came to Morehead," is how Phil Simms introduced himself after the Giants selected him in the first round of the 1979 NFL Draft.
That came shortly after his name was announced as the team's top pick. It was met with a chorus of boos and heckling from the gallery in attendance at the draft held on the 18th floor of the Waldorf-Astoria in Manhattan. New York was in search of a quarterback and pre-draft reports had them taking Jack Thompson. However, their plans went awry when the Cincinnati Bengals passed on tight end Kellen Winslow and took Thompson with the fourth overall pick. So, when it came time for the Giants to make their pick at the seventh spot, they had a long list of available and well-known college quarterbacks to choose from such as Steve Fuller (Clemson), Joe Montana (Notre Dame) and Rick Leach (Michigan).
The "sleeper" pick of Simms out of Kentucky's Morehead State certainly woke up the Giants faithful on hand at the draft.
"Once in a while you get a chance to get a guy with a great arm and great potential and you'd darn right better take it," rationalized Giants GM George Young at the time.
Fortunately, Young's strategy worked perfectly and it wasn't long before the fans displeasure turned to cheers. Simms became the leader of the Giants and led them to a Super Bowl championship during his 14-year career that saw him throw for 33,462 yard s and 199 TDs.
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Who in '11?
Post your comment with who you think the Giants should select in the first round on April 28. Why?
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