The New York Giants are one of the NFL’s oldest teams, having joined the league in 1925. In total, the Giants have won eight NFL championships, four pre- Super Bowl era titles, and four Super Bowls in (XXI (1986), XXV (1990), XLII (2007), and XLVI (2011)). Big Blue ranks third as the NFL’s all-time winningest team. Their closest rivals the Philadelphia Eagles are the oldest of the NFC East rivalries, dating all the way back to 1933.
With 29 Hall of Famers having played for the Giants picking 25 players was no easy task, in various eras the Giants have had some of the best players in NFL history. Here are the 25 greatest New York Giants of all-time!
Honorable mentions: Keith Hamilton, Carl "Spider" Lockhart, Kyle Rote, Rodney Hampton, and Joe Morrison.
25. Red Badgro - DE
Stats: 35 Receptions, 560 Receiving Yards, 7 Touchdowns.
Accolades: 3-time All-Pro
Red Badgro was one of a kind, he did it all way before Bo Jackson. Badgro played 5 seasons for the New York Giants from 1930-1935, before signing with Big Blue he was a baseball player having played for the New York Yankees. He was regarded as a sure-tackling defender that could block, tackle, and catch. He helped the Giants capture the 1934 NFL Championship. After Football he went back to his first love, Baseball, spending one season with the Brooklyn Dodgers.
24. Charlie Conerly - QB
Stats: 19,488 Passing Yards, 68.2 Passer rating, TD- INT: 173-167
Accolades: Rookie of the year (1948), NFL MVP (1959), 2-time Pro Bowl, NFL passer rating leader (1959).
One of the best Quarterbacks in Giants history, Charlie Conerly was a franchise player having played for the Giants from 1948 to 1961. At one point he set many Giants records such as Most Completions (rookie season): 162 (1948) and Most Passer Rating (rookie season): 84.0 (1948). He led Big Blue to three NFL Championship games in four seasons (1956, 1958–1959) winning one in 1956.
23. Andy Robustelli - DE
Stats: Fumble recoveries: 22, interceptions: 2
Accolades: 7-time Pro Bowl, 6-time First team, Bert Bell Award in 1962
Andy Robustelli played nine years with the Giants, and while with the team he played for six conference championship teams, winning one NFL championship in his first season. He became one of the few defensive players to win the Bert Bell Award. He was small for a defensive end at only six feet but he made up for it in hustle and determination. He was known for being a great pass rusher and very quick on his feet.
22. Y.A. Tittle - QB
Stats: 28,399 Passing Yards, 55.5% Completion Percentage, 73.6 Passer rating
Accolades: 7-time Pro Bowl, 4-time All-Pro First Team, 3-time NFL passing touchdown leader, New York Giants Ring of Honor, Number 14 jersey retired by the Giants
We know, Y.A. Tittle deserves to be higher on the list, but many new generation of fans may not know just how important he was. He arrived to Blue Blue at 34 and was considered washed up. He would go on to beat out Charlie Conerly for the starting QB position and the rest is history. He tied the NFL record by throwing seven touchdown passes in a game on October 28, 1962. At 37 he hit his single-season passing touchdowns record by throwing 36. He had his jersey retired and is a part of the Ring of Honor for the Giants.
21. Frank Gifford - HB/WR
Stats: 3,609 Passing Yards, 34 Rushing Touchdowns, 43 Receiving Touchdowns, 5,432 Receiving Yards.
Accolades: 8-time Pro-Bowl, 6-time First-Team All-Pro, NFL MVP 1956, NFL Comeback Player of the year (1962), NFL 1950 All-Decade Team, Number 16 jersey retired.
Frank Gifford played his entire career with the Giants, he was a unique player that could cover both the offensive and defensive ends. In 1956 he was named the league MVP and led the Giants to the championship. He missed the 1961 season after suffering a head injury but came back strong the following year winning comeback player of the year. He played 136 games for the Giants having 3,609 rushing yards and 34 touchdowns in 840 carries. A beast!
20. Mel Hein - LB
Stats: 170 Games, 10 Interceptions *Not all stats available
Accolades: 8-time First-team All-Pro, 4-time NFL All-Star, 1938 NFL MVP, New York Giants Ring of Honor, Number 7 jersey retired.
With a nickname like "Old Indestructible", Mel Hein played as a Center or Linebacker during the era of one-platoon Football. Hein played a total of 15 seasons with Big Blue, capturing 2 championships at Center for the G-Men. He was known as a hard man calling timeout only once in his career to attend to a broken nose. He was known for his speed and agility as well as taking a few knocks. They don’t make them like Mel anymore.
19. Emlen Tunnell - S
Stats: 258 Punt Returns, 2,209 Punt Yards, 79 Interceptions
Accolades: 9-time Pro Bowl, 6-time All-Pro First Team, NFL All-Decade team in the 1950s, Giants Ring of Honor
“The Gremlin” as Emlen Tunnell was known became the first African-American to play for the Giants. He was one of the best pass defenders and punt returners in the NFL. During his 11 years with Big Blue, he set franchise records for intercepted passes (74) and 1,240 interception return yards, and four touchdowns.
18. Sam Huff - LB
Stats: 30 Interceptions, 5 touchdowns.
Accolades: 5-time Pro Bowl, 2-time First-team All-Pro, NFL 1950’s All-Decade team.
Sam Huff was a Giant through and through. He was a tough linebacker with great vision to see the whole field. Huff became the first rookie middle linebacker to start an NFL championship game and was the first NFL player to be featured on the cover of Time Magazine. When he was traded he was famous for showing his love for the Giants even stating he would never forgive Giants coach Allie Sherman for the trade.
17. Mark Bavaro - TE
Stats: Receptions: 351, 4,733 Receiving Yards, 39 Receiving touchdowns.
Accolades: 2-time Pro Bowl, 2-time All-Pro, Giants Ring of Honor
Mark Bavaro was known as Rambo because of his intense playing style and shy personality. When Bill Parcells put him in the starting lineup in his rookie season he finished the year with 37 receptions, 511 yards, and 4 touchdowns. He was one of Phil Simms go-to guys and was a mainstay of the Giants of the late 1980s. He went on to win two Super Bowls with Big Blue and is one of the best modern-day Tight Ends the Giants ever had.
16. Brad Van Pelt - LB
Stats: 24.5 Sacks, 20 Interceptions, 184 Games played.
Accolades: 5-time Pro Bowl, New York Giants Ring of Honor.
Brad Van Pelt played 11 years with Big Blue, even though he was never able to win a championship he was a fixture for the team during those tough years. He was a part of the Crunch Bunch, the tough linebackers which consisted of Van Pelt, Brian Kelley, Lawrence Taylor, and Harry Carson. They are considered one of the best linebacking formations in NFL history. Van Pelt is the only player to have played in the Giants four homes in those 11 seasons. Yankee Stadium, the Yale Bowl, Shea Stadium, and Giants Stadium.
15. Amani Toomer - WR
Stats: 668 Receptions, 9,497 receiving yards, 54 Receiving Touchdowns, 1,317 Return Yards
Accolades: New York Giants Ring of Honor
Amani Toomer played 13 seasons with the Giants and won 1 Super Bowl in 2007. He set many Giants records, 16 in total during his time in New York. During the 1999-2003 seasons when he became the starting wide receiver he broke the team record for receptions in a season (79), and he had 1,183 receiving yards. He was an ironman for the team playing in almost every game during those years. In the 2007 championship season, Toomer totaled 59 receptions for 760 yards and scored 3 touchdowns.
14. Jesse Armstead - LB
Stats: 967 Tackles, 40 Sacks, 12 Interceptions
Accolades: 5-time Pro Bowl, 4-time All-Pro, New York Giants Ring of Honor
Jesse Armstead was a tough linebacker and one of the toughest in Giants history. He had five consecutive seasons where he recorded more than 100 tackles. He was a beast for the Giants sacking 40 times in his career. Even though he did not win a championship he can be considered one of the toughest Giants of All-Time.
13. George Martin - DE
Stats: 46 Sacks, Interceptions: 3, Touchdowns: 7
Accolades: New York Giants Ring of Honor
George Martin played his whole career with the Giants, becoming the NFL’s all-time leader in touchdowns scored by a defensive lineman. He was a beast in defense for Big Blue having over 90 quarterback sacks in his Giants career. He was one of the NFL’s most feared pass rushers. He was able to win 1 Super Bowl with the Giants and retired in 1988.
12. Rosey Brown - OT
Stats: 163 Games Played, 4 Fumble Recoveries
Accolades: 9-time Pro Bowl, 6-time First-team All-Pro, NFL’s All-Decade team 1950s, NFL’s All-Time Team, New York Giants Ring of Honor
Don’t let the name fool you. Rosey Brown was as tough as they come. He became one of the best offensive linemen in NFL history. He was extremely versatile at left tackle, and one of the team's backbone for over 13 years. He won 1 NFL championship in 1956 but was a part of six division championships in an eight-year stretch. It was written once that "The New York Giants have football's greatest ground threat, and Roosevelt Brown, an ultra-fast 245-pounder, is an integral part of it."
11. Leonard Marshall - DE
Stats: 177 Games Played, 84 sacks, 714 tackles.
Accolades: 2-time Pro Bowl
Leonard Marshall is one of the greatest defensive players in Giants history. Winner of two Super Bowl titles he formed an excellent partnership with another Giants great Lawrence Taylor. Marshall’s 79.5 sacks are the third most in the franchise’s history and near the end of his career, he signed a ceremonial one-day contract with Big Blue to retire as a Giant.
10. Chris Snee - Scout
Stats:141 games, 6 fumble recoveries
Accolades: 4-time Pro Bowl, First-team All-Pro
Chris Snee spent 10 seasons with Big Blue winning 2 Super Bowls and being one of the team's top defensive players. He is considered one of the best draft picks of the Coughlin era. He was as tough as they came but his body gave out as he was forced to retire due to the many injuries he sustained.
9. Osi Umenyiora - DE
Stats: 435 tackles, 85 sacks, 35 forced fumbles.
Accolades: 2-time Pro Bowl, New York Giants Ring of Honor.
Osi Umenyiora was a premier pass rusher and once set a Giants record by recording six sacks against the Philadelphia Eagles. During Super Bowl XLII, Umenyiora had four tackles, three of which were solos, which helped the Giants keep the Patriots at bay and win the 2007 championship. He is one of the best defensive players of all-time.
8. Phil Simms - QB
Stats: Pass attempts: 4,647, Pass completions:2,576, Passing yards: 33,462, Passer rating: 78.8
Accolades: 2- time Pro Bowl, First-team All-Pro (1986), NFL MVP (1986), number 11 jersey retired, New York Giants Ring of Honor
Quite possibly the greatest Giants quarterback of all-time. Phil Simms played 15 seasons with Big Blue winning 2 Super Bowls. He was Super Bowl XXI’s MVP and he set the records for highest completion percentage in a Super Bowl, completing 22 of 25 passes, a record which still stands. An icon of the city and of the fan base even today fans remember this Giants leader with fondness. In total, he played 164 games for Big Blue.
7. Carl Banks - LB
Stats: 40 sacks, 3 interceptions, 1 touchdown.
Accolades: Pro Bowl (1987), All-Pro (1987), NFL All-Decade team 1980s, Giants Ring of Honor
Carl Banks was a member of two Super Bowl teams for Big Blue and was a key part of the Big Blue Wrecking Crew. Banks is forever remembered for his part in the Giants Super Bowl XXI victory in which he had 14 tackles in the game. A defensive wall, opposing offenses did not want to go against Banks and the Wrecking Crew as they were sure to feel some pain.
6. Tiki Barber - RB
Stats: 10,449 Rushing Yards, 4.7 Rushing average, 55 rushing touchdowns, 586 Receptions, 12 receiving touchdowns.
Accolades: 3-Time Pro Bowl, New York Giants Ring of Honor.
While Tiki Barber did not win a championship with Big Blue he was a standout running back and he is the all-time leader in rushing yards for the New York Giants. Barber played a total of 154 games for the Giants and at one point in 2018 Barber held a total of 22 franchise records.
5. Justin Tuck - DE
Stats: Sacks: 67, 510 tackles, 22 Forced Fumbles, 6 Fumble recoveries.
Accolades: 2-time Pro Bowl, New York Giants Ring of Honor
Justin Tuck was as tough as they came, the Defensive End was a beast when it came to tackles and sacks and helped the Giants win two Super Bowls in his 9 seasons with the team. At a big 265 pounds, he was a wall in defensive for the Giants and deserves to be in the top ten all-time best Giants.
4. Harry Carson - LB
Stats: 19 Sacks, 11 interceptions, 173 games.
Accolades: 9-time Pro Bowl, 2- time First-team All-Pro, New York Giants Ring of Honor.
Harry Carson was one of the toughest linebackers in Giants history. He played with reckless abandonment and elevated his game when it mattered most. He was a part of the Crunch Bunch and Big Blue Wrecking Crew.
3. Michael Strahan - DE
Stats: 854 tackles, 142 sacks, 24 forced fumbles
Accolades: 7- time Pro Bowl, 4-time First-team All-Pro, 2- time NFL sacks leader, New York Giants Ring of Honor, and number 92 retired by the Giants.
Michael Strahan is the Giants All-Time leader in sacks, he was the defensive player of the year in 2001 and 2003. He set an NFL record for sacks in a single season with 22.5. He left his mark in a Big Blue jersey like no other and is a proud member of the Giants Ring of Honor.
2. Eli Manning - QB
Stats: Passing attempts: 8,119, Passing completions: 4,895, Percentage: 60.3, Passing yards: 57,023, TD–INT:366–244, Passer rating:84.1
Accolades: 2- time Super Bowl MVP, 4-time Pro Bowl, number 10 jersey retired.
Eli Manning has a case for being the greatest Giant of all-time with two Super Bowl MVP performances, he was a rock for the Giants in his 16 years with the team. He played a total of 236 games and threw 366 touchdown passes. In 2011 he set the record for most fourth-quarter touchdown passes in a season at 15. Manning holds franchise records for most passing yards, touchdown passes and completed passes in a career.
1. Lawrence Taylor - LB
Stats: 1,089 tackles, 133 sacks, 56 forced fumbles, 9 interceptions.
Accolades: NFL MVP 1986, 3-time Defensive Player of the Year, 10-time Pro Bowl, 8-time First-team All-Pro, New York Giants Ring of Honor, number 56 jersey retired by the Giants, NFL 75th and 100th-anniversary All-Time team.
When you think of the New York Giants the one name that comes to mind is Lawrence Taylor. He is considered by many to be the greatest defender to ever play in the NFL. He is one of only two defensive players to win an NFL MVP award, and he won Defensive Player of the Year on three occasions. He won two Super Bowls with Big Blue and L.T. is known as the ultimate Giants player.