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New York Giants: Players That Got Away

by Michael Stewart on Mar. 1, 2019

Introduction: Since 1925, the New York Giants have been arguably one of the most respected and most successful NFL franchises of all time. Many great players have worn the Giants blue and white uniforms and gone on to have great careers and even elected into the Football Hall of Fame as a Giants. However; sometimes great franchises like the Giants make mistakes and let a future Hall of Famer slip through their fingers and have great careers with other teams. Below are the top 4 players drafted by the Giants, only to find success with other teams and be elected into the Football Hall of Fame.

· Art Donovan (DT)-6’2/265: Donovan was drafted in 1947 by the New York Giants in the 22nd round out of Boston College, but never played a single down with them? He played the majority of his career with the Baltimore Colts and was a 5 time Pro Bowler, 4 time first team All-Pro, NFL 1950’s All-Decade Team, and elected into the Hall of Fame.

·Buck Buchanan (DT)-6-7’270: Buchanan was drafted in 1963 by the New York Giants in the 19th round out of Grambling, but was also drafted by the new AFL Kansas City Chiefs in the 1st round st overall) and decided to join Kansas City. Buchanan was a 2 times Pro Bowler, 6 time AFL first team selection, and elected into Football Hall of Fame.

·Don Maynard (WR)-6’0/180: Maynard was drafted in 1957 by the New York Giants in 9th round out of Texas-El Paso. After one season with the Giants, Maynard moved on and found a home with the New York Titans; who would eventually become the New York Jets. Maynard was a 4 time AFL All-Star and 2 time first team All-AFL; while winning a Super Bowl in 1969 as a member of the New York Jets. Maynard was elected into Football Hall of Fame as the all-time leading wide receiver at that time.

·Gary Zimmerman (OT)-6’6/300: Zimmerman was drafted in 1984 by the New York Giants in the supplemental draft as the USFL was folding. However; Zimmerman refused to sign with the Giants; which forced then Giants GM George Young to trade his rights to Minnesota for two 2nd round draft picks. Zimmerman was a 7 time Pro Bowler, a 5 times first team All-Pro, and a Super Bowl Champion; while playing for the Vikings and the Broncos. Zimmerman was elected into the Football Hall of Fame.

Final Thoughts: Every team has had a player or two slip through their fingers who find success and possibly get a call from Canton. There’s no telling if any of these players would have found the same success if they had remained a Giant or how much more of an impact they would have made with the great Giant teams during their respective era. Art Donovan would have fit in nicely with the great Giant defensive teams of the 50’s. Buck Buchanan could have given the Giants teams of the 60’s more hope with his unique skill set. Don Maynard would have given the Giants that added dimension of a deep threat that they lacked offensively in the late 50’s and early 60’s. Gary Zimmerman would have given the Giants an All-Pro tackle anchored during their glory years from 1985-1995 as they could have won possibly won more than 2 Super Bowls. Unfortunately, we will never know for sure. We can only dream of what could have been.