By: Alan Levy
[Guest writer Alan Levy gives his take on the last week in sports]
With the NFL draft coming up next week, I thought I would spend some time reminiscing about the Giant’s bounty of number one picks in the past 25 years. In my research, I have discovered why the 90’s seemed to be the Lost Decade of Giants number one picks:
1991 – Jarrod Bunch, Fullback, Michigan – Seriously, even in 1991, who would take a fullback with a number one pick even if it was the last pick in the first round? By the way, six picks later the Falcons took a second round flyer on Brett Favre.
1992 – Derek Brown, Tight End, Notre Dame – Ah yes, the Mark Bavarro replacement taken at pick 14 . . . until they found out he wasn’t quite as skilled as say, pick number 157, All-Pro (and hot tub aficionado) Mark Chmura.
1994 – Thomas Lewis, Wide Receiver, Indiana – Indiana? We’re picking players from Indiana football? Mr. Lewis’ claim to fame was that Bill Walsh “really liked him” and would have taken him at 28 (the Giants picked 24th). Something tells me that the Niners would have still taken William (Bar None) Floyd. Pick 33 that year? Isaac Bruce.
1996 – Cedric Jones, Defensive End, Oklahoma – Much better, back to picking kids from football schools. Wait, what do you mean he’s blind in one eye and WE DIDN’T KNOW!?! Mr. Jones is noted as one of the Top 100 Worst Draft Choices of all time. The absolute low point of Giant scouting, the Giants took Jones with the 6th pick and passed on Eddie George, Marvin Harrison, and Ray Lewis just in the first round.
Of course, these picks were sandwiched around the Giants’ picks of Hall of Fame defensive end Michael Strahan and two-time Super Bowl MVP Eli Manning, but that just demonstrates the vagaries of the draft. You think crunching all those numbers is a science? You try reconciling game tapes, combine workouts, pro day workouts, private workouts, individual interviews, what friends say, how their mothers treated them, and who they took to the prom (in Michael Sam’s case this could be misleading). It’s a crap shoot the size of Tony Mandarich. As my old friend DD from Belmont used to tell me, “you can’t trust anything that talks.”
Just ask Rocky Thompson. He’s the wide receiver the Giants took in the first round, pick number 18 in the 1971 draft. In two years, he averaged 250 total yards per year. Pick 19 was HOF DB Jack Tatum; pick 20, All-Pro Jack Youngblood. Ugh.
As a Knick fan, you have some hope that James Dolan will get into some Donald Sterling-like trouble. Of course, with their luck, Donald Trump would buy the team.
Time to exorcise some demons Rangers. They’ve never beaten the Pens in a best of seven series. My heart says Rangers in 6.
One month in and the Yanks are still in first place. Stop the season. No, I’m serious, stop it now before someone else gets hurt.
Fantasy Football Update: With all the changes in personnel and teams, there will be serious studying going on this summer. But one thing I’m betting on, Sammy Watkins goes no lower than the fourth round of all my fantasy drafts.
I’ll go on the record: with the 12th pick, the Giants take Aaron Donald, DT, Pittsburgh.
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Alan Levy lives the American Dream in Northern Virginia, but is a third generation New York sports fan whose parents went to a Rangers/Red Wings game on their honeymoon. Alan also writes over at http://viewfromupperdeck.blogspot.com/
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