The Giants hold the 19th selection in the NFL Draft this year. It will be the fifth time since 1979 (the official start of the post-fumble era) that Big Blue has picked in this slot.
The last time the Giants picked 19th was just two years ago. They were wedged in a position where someone could fall, but who that player would be was a mystery.
There were a few players on their board they felt might drop, but were gone by the time their turn to pick came:
USC OT Tyron Smith, who was taken by the Cowboys at 10; DT Nick Fairley of Auburn, who was taken at 14 by Detroit; Florida C Mike Pouncey, who went to Miami at 15 and Colorado OT Nate Solder, who ended up in New England at 17.
When highly-regarded Nebraska DB Prince Amukamara fell into their lap, there was no choice but to take him. You know the skinny on Prince. Injured as a rookie and never caught up. He became the team’s favorite target for locker room hi-jinx until a video of excessive ice bath dunkings was leaked on the internet. He was hobbled again for a bit last season but then began to show signs of the player the Giants thought they drafted.
Prince is now a starter at CB for the Giants and they hope they can build their secondary around him in the future. Looking back, the 2011 draft was not a very strong one. Some solid players, but few stars. In fact, only three players selected after Prince (Cincinnati QB Andy Dalton, DE Justin Houston of KC and Vikings’ TE Kyle Rudolph) have made it to the Pro Bowl.
The Giants held the 19th selection previously in 1999 when they chose Notre Dame OT Luke Petitgout, who went on to play 114 games over an 8-year span for the Giants.
Petitgout began his Giant career as a guard, then was switched out to RT for the next two seasons before landing the LT job in 2002, where he stayed for the next five seasons. Petitgout was not signed by the Giants after the 2006 season and finished his NFL career in Tampa Bay in 2007.
The Giants chose another Irish player with the 19th overall selection in the 1986 NFL Draft: Eric Dorsey, a mammoth DE. Dorsey’s selection was overshadowed that year by the Giants’ successful second-round windfall.
With four selections in the second round that year the Giants chose CB Mark Collins, DT Erik Howard, LB Pepper Johnson and S Greg Lasker. All of these players would figure prominently in the Giants’ Super Bowl runs.
The Giants chose 19th in 1985 as well. They selected Kentucky RB George Adams, who in retrospect is now considered one of the worst first-round picks in club history.
Adams was plagued by injuries and never got a real opportunity after his understudy – Joe Morris – literally took the ball and ran with it. Adams was cut after the 1989 season and would go on to New England to finish out his disappointing career.