If you have been following our series of the worst New York Giants' No. 1 draft choices since 1960 it probably was not hard for you to figure out I was going to go with running back Rocky Thompson as the worst first-round pick of that time period.
Thompson pretty much symbolized everything that went wrong with the Giants from the mid-1960s until George Young became general manager in 1979. Thompson was a world-class sprinter who won the English 100-meter dash championship in 1970 with a time of 10.1 seconds. What Thompson was not was a football player.
He played collegiately at Hartnell Community College and West Texas State before being drafted by the Giants. Thompson carried the ball only 68 times for 217 yards in his three seasons, only 14 of those carries coming in his final two seasons. He did average 27.2 yards per return in two seasons as a kickoff returner, returning two for touchdowns.
The two picks immediately after Thompson? Oakland selected heavy-hitting three-time Pro Bowl safety Jack Tatum 19th. Then, the Los Angeles Rams selected Jack Youngblood 20th. Youngblood, of course, is now in the Hall of Fame. Two other Hall of Famers, Jack Ham and Dan Dierdorf, were second-round selections that year.
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