New York Giants – Lawrence Taylor (No. 2 pick, 1981)
Okay, okay, it probably was not terribly difficult to select Lawrence Taylor with the number two overall pick in the 1981 NFL Draft. Taylor was a dominant force during his time at North Carolina and the great majority of NFL franchises would have loved to acquire him on draft day. Still, the Giants pulled the trigger and they get credit for doing just that.
Many folks in the football world consider Taylor to be the most dominant defensive player in the history of the league and, for my money, he is the best player to ever wear a New York Giants uniform. Taylor hasn’t always been a model citizen off the field, but he helped to secure two Super Bowl titles for the organization, and the numbers speak for themselves.
Taylor was named as a first team All-Pro on eight (!) occasions and he landed in the Pro Bowl ten times. He was elected to the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 1999, and upon his retirement, he was the league’s all-time sack leader with 132.5 sacks over the course of 13 years. It is difficult to come up with an accurate description of just how terrifying Taylor was to the opposition on the field, but Giants fans undoubtedly remember his overall persona and greatness.
Next: New York Jets