Its current occupant ... Osi Umenyiora.
We can, and have, debated the reasons for Osi's sub-par 2009 season. We can, and have, debated how much Osi has left in the tank and what kind of player the New York Giants can expect to see in 2010. We can, and have, debated whether Osi should even be a Giant this season or if General Manager Jerry Reese should have dumped him for a couple of draft picks.
I don't think, however, that we can really debate whether or not he is the best player to ever don the 72 for the New York Giants. Other quality players have worn 72, but none have accomplished what Osi has.
Let's run down the list of what Osi has accomplished since being drafted in the second round by the Giants in 2003.
- Two Pro Bowl appearances and one All-Pro selection.
- A total of 48.5 sacks in six seasons. Two double-digit sack seasons.
- Twelve fumble recoveries, including three run back for touchdowns.
- A key contribution to a defense that helped the Giants win a Super Bowl in 2007.
Let's save the arguments about what Osi can do for THIS Giants team for another day. Today, let's just show some admiration for the best No. 72 the Giants have ever had.
Other Notables Who Have Worn 72
- Doug Riesenberg was drafted in the sixth round by the Giants in 1987. He became a starter at right tackle in 1988, and was a fixture at that spot until 1995. He finished his career by playing one more season with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
- Gordon King was an on-again, off-again starter for the Giants at right tackle from 1978-85. He finished his career by playing two seasons for the New York Jets.
- Roman Oben was a Giant for four seasons, 1996-99, and started at left tackle three of those years. After leaving the Giants he played eight more seasons in the league with Cleveland, Tampa Bay and San Diego.
- Old-timers might remember Dick Yelvington, who played right tackle from 1952-57.
(As always, if you know of any other significant players who wore the number, let me know. The pre-1950 numbers are extremely difficult to find)