The 1970’s were not a very kind decade for the NY Giants.
Between 1970 and 1979, the G Men sported a 50-93-1 record and lost almost 2 out of every 3 times they took the field. The ten year span saw some particularly odorous teams such as the 2 victory efforts in 1973 and 1974 and the three victory campaign in 1976.
Playing so poorly, the Giants had a high draft pick. Check out their top picks:
1970 - Jim Files- 1st round – LB - Oklahoma
1971 –Rocky Thompson – 1st round –RB- West Texas State
1972 – Eldridge Small -1st Round –DB- Texas A&I
1972 – Larry Jacobson -1st Round – DT - Nebraska
1973 - Brad Van Pelt -2nd Round – LB –Michigan State
1974 - John Hicks -1st Round- OG –Ohio State
1975 –Al Simpson -2nd Round- OT –Colorado State
1976 – Troy Archer – 1st Round- DT – Colorado
1977 – Gary Jeter – 1st Round –DT- USC
1978 – Gordon King – 1st Round – OT- Stanford
1979 – Phil Simms – 1st Round- QB –Moorehead State
I remember Files as a steady LB that had a pretty good career. Thompson was an explosive kick returner, if he had better hands- he could have been awesome. Van Pelt and Jeter were studs- fantastic players, and a real steadying force in the Giants locker room. They were team leaders.
The Giants also had a habit of drafting highly touted award winning college players that were a colossal bust in the NFL. Anyone remember Rich Glover? Larry Jacobson? John Hicks? Tom Gatewood?
Glover was a defensive lineman at the University of Nebraska and is one of the very few players to ever win the Outland Trophy and the Lombardi Trophy. The Giants picked him on the 3rd round in the 1973 draft and high hopes for him, even if he was a little under-sized at 6”1” and 240 pounds.. He was a bust, played in 13 games that year, was out all year in 1974, went to the Iggles for 14 games in 1975, and was gone for good after that.
Jacobson was a superstar DT on Nebraska's 1970 and 1971 national championship teams. Another Outland Trophy winner, he was the Giants second of two first round picks in 1972. He played with the Giants for four non-eventful seasons.
Hicks was another big-time college player that flamed out in the NFL. In 1973, he amazingly won the Outland Trophy, won the Lombardi trophy, and was SECOND in Heisman Trophy voting! He played in 52 games with the Giants between 1974 and 1977. Somehow, he caught one pass in 1975 for a 5 yard gain. The Giants were 5-9 that year, so no doubt that had to be an offensive highlight.
Gatewood was a flashy All America WR out of Notre Dame. He led ND in receiving in 1969, 1970, and 1971. He was the Irish’s co-captain in 1971. The Giants grabbed him on the 5th round in 1972. His NFL career was under-whelming. In 1972 and 73 he appeared in a handful of games, and amassed zero yards on zero receptions. The Giants were 1-6 when he stepped onto the field, and were outscored 183-63.
Thank God they drafted Phil Simms in 1979, that helped the turnaround in the 1980’s, to say the least…