Top 25 Most Overrated New York Giants in Franchise History (Modern Era)

Jeff ShullAnalyst IOctober 11, 2011

Top 25 Most Overrated New York Giants in Franchise History (Modern Era)

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    The New York Giants are one of the most storied franchises in the NFL, and like all the others, they have had some pretty overrated players and coaches come and go. 

    Admittedly, to truly understand whether or not a player is overrated, you have to have been around during that time, so many players from the early 90s will be overrated based on their draft position. 

    This will feel like a worst draft picks in Giants history to some extent, but to me, those go hand in hand with being overrated. 

    Calling all wise fans, feel free to tell me I'm dead wrong on any of these players. I would love the insight from real fans rather than what I can gather on the internet. My dad can only remember so much. 

    Anyways, this list is the top 25 overrated players and coaches in the modern era, which I've taken to be since Super Bowl I. 

    P.S. There really isn't any order to this list, other than the last guy being the most overrated. 

Aaron Ross

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    Aaron Ross was selected with the 20th pick of the 2007 NFL Draft, but injury problems kept him from living up to his potential. 

    The Giants were enamored with his size and speed, but he is very inconsistent and does not play well in zone coverage. 

Ron Dayne

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    Pegged as the "Thunder" to Tiki Barber's "Lightning," the Heisman trophy winner and NCAA's career rushing leader certainly had Giants fans excited. 

    Unfortunately, Dayne was more of a golf clap. He had 2,067 yards in four seasons (missed the 2003 season), averaging 3.53 yards per carry. 

William Joseph

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    William Joseph was the 25th overall pick in the 2003 NFL Draft and was one of the worst first round selections in New York Giants history. 

    He never had more than two sacks, was injured pretty much every year and never cracked 30 tackles in one season. 

    Nnamdi Asomugha was selected with the 31st pick. Yeah. 

David Diehl

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    David Diehl had a solid career until about 2009, when his age started to catch up with him. The Giants have shown too much faith in him, and it's been a problem. 

    Pro Football Focus ranked him as one of the worst LT's in 2010, and at left guard this year, he hasn't been much better. 

    The Giants should have addressed the LG spot with a veteran free agent, not an aging has-been. 

Will Allen

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    The Syracuse native came to the Giants in 2001 with a lot of promise, but his five years with New York were marred by inconsistency. 

    He had four interceptions in his rookie year, but it was all downhill from there. I cannot believe people actually wanted the Giants to bring him back this year, but I guess that's what happens when you lose four corners to the IR. 

Marcus Buckley

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    Marcus Buckley came from the vaunted Texas A&M defense of the early 1990s, but was never anything more than a special teams contributor for the Giants. 

    Drafted in the third round in 1993, he started just 25 games in seven seasons. Corey Miller was selected in the seventh round of the same draft and was a much better player over their careers. Miller started over Buckley during that time.

Tyrone Wheatley

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    Tyrone Wheatley was supposed to be the next great Giants running back, but his time with the Giants was anything but pretty. He frustratingly went on to have a couple of decent seasons with the Oakland Raiders

    For some reason or another, he just couldn't handle the pressure playing in New York. 

Derek Brown

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    The Giants have typically had success drafting tight ends in the first round, but in 1992, they took Derek Brown, who collected only 11 receptions in three seasons. 

    He never had more than 141 yards in his career. 

Mario Manningham

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    Mario Manningham is the prototype of a player who you know has tons of talent, but does not bring it every single week. 

    He has good speed and quickness, but his hands have let him down over the years. If he could stay consistent, he would already be a 1,000 yard receiver, but he's never been able to stay up on the depth chart. 

    He was supplanted by Hakeem Nicks in 2009, and this year, he's been overshadowed by undrafted Victor Cruz. 

    I expected much more from Manningham. He needs to step up. 

Jeff Hostetler

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    I'll probably get killed for this one. Jeff Hostetler gets a ton of praise from New York Giants fans for taking over for Phil Simms in 1991 and leading the Giants to a Super Bowl victory. 

    The Giants did not lean on Hostetler at all during that playoff run, rather deciding to trust their dominant run game and a defense led by Bill Belichick

    The way he was able to protect the ball was a huge part of the reason the Giants were successful that year, but he wasn't turned loose at all. 

    Hostetler is a fan favorite, but was nothing special as a QB while with the Giants. Maybe he could have been if Parcells opened up the offense, but that was not his style. 

    Hostetler went on to have a few good seasons with the Raiders. 

Kanavis McGhee

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    A leader on the 1990 Colorado Buffalo championship team, McGhee adds to another list of bad picks by the Giants during the 1990s.

    McGhee was selected 55th overall in 1991, but the Giants converted him to defense end. He started two games in three seasons, with a knee injury causing the Giants to terminate his contract. 

Mark Ingram

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    I couldn't really figure out why ESPN was giving Mark Ingram, Sr. love for being a good wide receiver for the Giants. 

    Giants fans will always be grateful for the performances he put up in the NFC Championship and Super Bowl win over the Bills, but for a first round pick, he was nothing special. 

    His best season came the year after the Super Bowl, when he had 51 receptions and 824 yards. Of course, there is always that what if factor that comes with playing under Parcells during this era. 

    Though he didn't light it up when Ray Handley took over either. 

Eric Dorsey

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    I don't know if it was because the Giants had so many mainstays on the team during this era, or if they just whiffed on a bunch of top picks, but other than Rodney Hampton, the Giants didn't get a single exceptional player in the first round from 1985-1992. 

    Dorsey is no exception. He had only seven sacks in seven seasons with the Giants, being the 19th overall pick from Notre Dame in 1986. 

George Adams

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    Yet another bust running back in the first round, though the Giants were pretty much set at the position at this time with Joe Morris. 

    Adams never had more 498 yards (rookie year) in his career with the Giants and averaged 3.4 ypc. 

Brian Williams

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    Brian Williams sat and waited for a long time while Bart Oates manned the center position for the Giants, but when Williams took over in 1994, the Giants running game went down hill, going from 10th, to 13th, to 21st in his three years as the starter. 

    Before taking over, the Giants had the No. 1 rushing attack in 1993. 

    He only lasted those three years and was replaced by two rookies in 1997 after being a first round pick in 1989. 

Eldridge Small

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    I couldn't find a picture, so I chose the next best option.

    Eldridge Small was the No. 17 overall pick in 1972 and lasted just three seasons with the Giants, doubling as a backup defensive back and kick returner. 

    He collected just one interception. Not exactly Emlen Tunnell, eh? 

Dave Young

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    Dave Young is in the Purdue Hall of Fame but has virtually nothing to show for his NFL career. He lasted just one season with the Giants despite the position being open during the first three years of his NFL career. 

    The Giants had three different starters at tight end from '81-83, but the Purdue standout and second round pick only had five catches in one season with the Giants. 

Larry Csonka

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    Larry Csonka is a Hall of Fame full back and completely deserves it, but he was nothing more than a name in his three years with the Giants. 

    After making five straight Pro Bowls, he joined the Giants only to have a max yardage season of 569. To make matters worse, he joined the Dolphins again in '79 and had 837 yards and 12 TDs. In the three years prior, he had 1344 yards and 11 TDs. 

    I guess he wasn't thrilled with his time in the Big Apple. 

Cedric Jones

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    Cedric Jones was selected in the first round in 1996; unfortunately, the Giants didn't realize he was blind in one eye. 

    He last only five years with the Giants, starting just two seasons and collecting 15 sacks. He did have a solid 1999 season with 7.5 sacks, but no stats to warrant his first round selection. 

Rocky Thompson

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    Rocky Thompson was selected 18th overall in 1971, but lasted only three years and totaled just 217 rushing yards. 

    He was released by the Giants in '73, and that would be the end of his short career. He is considered one of the worst draft picks ever made by the Giants. 

Phil Simms

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    I will probably get killed for this one as well, but the reason I believe Simms is overrated is there are many fans who believe Simms was the best Giants QB ever. 

    I just don't think that is the case. 

    People claim that Simms was a good game manager who could take care of the ball. While he may have eventually became that, he threw 102 interceptions in his first six full seasons in the NFL—including 22 in the 1986 Super Bowl season. 

    Simms was a good quarterback who showed flashes of brilliance at times ('86 Super Bowl, 513 yard game), but I consider Charlie Connerly and Y.A. Tittle higher on the list of best all time. 

    Admittedly, Simms' stats don't tell the whole tale of his career. He was not relied upon very much by Bill Parcells, who stuck to a winning game plan of pounding the rock and playing tough defense. 

    Had he played in a pass happy offense, he might have racked up some impressive numbers. 

Craig Morton

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    In 1974, the Giants traded Norm Snead to the 49ers and acquired Craig Morton, a former first-round pick in 1965, from the Dallas Cowboys

    It turned out to be a pretty horrible move, as Morton would throw 29 touchdowns and 49 interceptions in three years with the Giants.

    The worst part? He went on to have a few good years with the Denver Broncos

Jim Fassel

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    This list can include coaches, right?

    Jim Fassel still gets a lot of respect from fans for getting the Giants to the Super Bowl in 2000, but in reality, he's one of the more overrated coaches in Giants history. 

    They got to the postseason and Super Bowl that year because of a dominating defense, and Fassel was more known for being an offensive mind. 

    While he resurrected Kerry Collins' career, he lasted seven seasons with the Giants and is probably best known for the 39-38 loss to the 49ers in the 2002 playoffs—the Giants had a 38-14 lead in that game. 

Fran Tarkenton

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    Fran Tarkenton spent four years with the Giants. He made the Pro Bowl every year, threw 92 touchdowns and 51 interceptions and is arguably one of the greatest quarterbacks of all time. 

    Make no mistake about it, I'm a huge Tarkenton guy; I just don't get all enamored with his numbers with the Giants. 

    Why? Because in those four years, the Giants had a winning record just once, and they had to give up two first round and two second round picks to get the guy. 

    He may have been great, but the trade made it so the Giants could not get great talent around him, especially on defense. 

    He was all-time great with the Vikings, but his four years with the Giants are overrated. 

Ray Handley

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    Ray Handley is the most overrated person in New York Giants history. The way he became head coach and who he beat out has aggravated Giants fans for 20 years. 

    Handley was the Giants' backfield coach from 1984-1990 and had a great run with Joe Morris, Ottis Anderson, etc. He was named offensive coordinator in 1990. 

    After just two seasons as the team's offensive coordinator, when Bill Parcells hinted he would be retiring, newly appointed general manager Ernie Accorsi said Handley was his guy to be the next head coach. 

    This despite a little known coach named Bill Belichick sitting in front of Accorsi's face. Belichick had been the defensive coordinator since 1985, meaning he had five more years experience as the guy right behind Parcells in the pecking order. 

    Belichick's game plan for the 1990 Super Bowl is in the Hall of Fame. 

    Apparently there was no changing Accorsi's mind, and he stuck with Handley. The first decision Handley made would define his entire reign as head coach. He decided to start Jeff Hostetler over Phil Simms, who had missed the end of the Super Bowl season with an injury. 

    This is the same guy who spent seven seasons as a backup to Simms. Handley went 8-8 and 6-10 and was fired at the end of the 1992 season.