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Giants' draft history: Who was the best third-round pick?


Last week we started looking at the successes and failures of New York Giants' drafts since 1970.

We have covered the worst of the first round and the best of the second. Today, let's look at some of the best third-round choices during that time period. Vote for your choice as the best pick in the poll at the end of the post.

Here are some of the best players taken in the third round

  • John Mendenhall (DT, 1972) -- A mainstay of the Giants' defense throughout the 'Wilderness Years' of the 1970s. Spent eight years with the Giants, and was always a quality player
  • Jeff Hostetler (QB, 1984) -- Made his mark on Giants history by stepping in for the injured Phil Simms in 1990 and leading the Giants to a Super Bowl title.
  • Stephen Baker (WR, 1987) -- Couldn't leave him off the list, considering how faithful long-time BBV member 'SBakerTheTouchdownMaker' has been. Baker was a deep threat for the Giants for six season, catching 141 balls and averaging more than 18 yards per catch.
  • Greg Jackson (S, 1989) -- Had a 12-year NFL career, the first five with New York.
  • Ed McCaffrey (WR, 1991) -- Not sure he belongs here. Spent only the first three of his 13 NFL seasons with the Giants, and didn't blossom into a top-tier receiver until well after leaving New York. Still, had a long and productive career.
  • Brad Maynard (P, 1997) -- The Giants drafted him in the third round thinking he was the next Ray Guy. He never justified that, and moved on to the Bears after four years in New York. He is still Chicago's punter.
  • Will Peterson (CB, 2001) -- Drafted the same year as Will Allen, was to make up the 'Wills' and give the Giants a pair of shut-down corners for years. Injuries derailed him, and he is still kicking around the league as an extra corner.
  • Justin Tuck (DE, 2005) -- An All-Pro in 2008, I don't think anyone can argue that Tuck is the best player on the current Giants' defense.

Anyone else you can think of? Hopefully we will someday think Mario Manningham, last season's No. 3 selection, should join this list.

To me, this list is further evidence of how you can, and need to, find quality players throughout the draft. The fact that we go from 1972 to 1984 before finding a third-round pick who made a real impact speaks volumes about how poorly run the Giants were in the '70s.