The history of the New York Giants dates back to 1925, ever since owner Tim Mara spent $500 dollars for a National Football League franchise.
The Giants played their first official NFL game against the Frankford Yellow Jackets.Since that time, some of the greatest names in the game have called the Big Apple Home, from Lawrence
There is one position that doesn’t get the glamour and prestige in Giants history, but played an important role in many of the team’s early championships and four Super Bowl titles; and that is the tight end position.
Obviously, The Giants have had many tight ends throughout their long history, some that will never be forgotten and some who we would like to forget.
I have compiled my list of the Giants' top 5 tight ends of all time; which wasn’t an easy task. I based my decision on the overall body of work and not just stats, such as: longevity, durability, receiving, blocking and production.
5. Howard Cross
Howard Cross was not known for his receiving prowess, but
Cross was as reliable a tight end the Giants ever had. In 13 seasons, Cross caught 201 passes for 2,194 yards and finished with 17 touchdowns. Drafted in the 6th
round of the 1989 Draft out of Alabama, Cross played in two Super Bowls as a Giant.
Cross holds as a Giant tight end is games played; which is 207. As I mentioned in my opening line, Cross is not on this list because of his catching ability. He makes his list for his longevity, durability and his blocking ability; which opened many holes for the Giants' running game.
4. Bob Tucker
Bob Tucker was the definition of a blue collar worker at the tight end position. He wasn’t glamorous, nor was he fast, but he had exceptional hands and caught everything within his reach. Tucker played a little over seven seasons with the Giants and during that time compiled 327 receptions for 4,376 yards and 22 touchdowns.
Tucker’s only misfortune was his timing; as he played for a Giants team that compiled a record of 35-67 during his career. However; make no mistake of Bob Tucker's immense talent and gifted abilities.
Despite playing on bad Giant teams, Tucker still holds the Giants’ all-time receiving yards record for a tight end to this day. Without a doubt, if Bob Tucker played during the marquee years of the Giants, he would have been even more productive.
3. Aaron Thomas
Who????? If you ask any Giants fan who Aaron Thomas is, 99 times out of 100 the response would be “Who”. Well back in the 1960s, Giant fans knew who Aaron Thomas was and for good reason. The Giants acquired Thomas during the 1962 season from the San Francisco 49ers and from that point on, the Giants never needed another tight end during that decade.
Thomas played nine seasons had 247 receptions for 4,253 yards and 35 touchdowns. A sturdy tight end that had exceptional receiving skills and averaged an astounding 17.2 yards per catch during his career as a Giant.
Thomas appeared in one Pro Bowl in 1964, but his best season by far was in 1967 when he had 51 catches for 877 yards and 9 touchdowns. Thomas is by far the most underrated and overlooked player with his achievements in Giants history.
2. Jeremy Shockey
The Giants selected the gifted tight end in the 1st
round of the 2002 Draft out of the University of Miami and Shockey had an immediate impact during his rookie season earning a Pro Bowl selection and an All-Pro selection as well.
Shockey was a very physical tight end and displayed this with his aggressive running style after each catch towards opposing tacklers. In six seasons as a Giant, Shockey totaled 371 receptions (most of any tight end in team history) for 4,228 yards and 27 touchdowns.
Shockey was traded to the New Orleans Saints for 2nd
round picks just before the 2008 season due to indifferences with team management. If not for injuries and attitude problems, Shockey would have easily broken every tight end offensive stat in team history.
1. Mark Bavaro
Was there any doubt about this one! The best overall tight end in Giants history is without a doubt Mark Bavaro. Bavaro was selected by the Giants in the 1985 Draft in the 4th
round out of Notre Dame and played in all 16 games his rookie season.
During Bavaro's six-year career with the Giants, he amassed 226 receptions for 3,772 yards and 28 touchdowns. 1986 was his best season in terms of offensive numbers as he compiled 66 receptions for 1,000 yards and 8 touchdowns.
One of the most memorable moments in Bavaro's career was during a game against the San Francisco 49ers. Bavaro proceeded to carry Hall of Famer and one of the hardest hitters in NFL history, Ronnie Lott,
for nearly 20 yards after a reception. Bavaro was the only Giants tight end to be selected as an NFL All-Pro twice, and he was a key member of both the 1986 and 1990 Super Bowl-winning squads, which is why he tops this list.
Played just fou seasons as the Giants' starting tight end, but they were during a time when the Giants were an elite team. Boss' career stats as a Giant were 119 receptions, 1,600 yards for 18 touchdowns. As a 5th
round selection out of Western Oregon in the 2007 Draft, Boss spent most of his rookie season as a backup to Jeremy Shockey.
However; with Shockey's injury late in the 2007 season, Boss was thrusted into the starting role and never looked back.
Boss' career as a Giant was short when the Oakland Raiders offered him a contract in 2011 that the Giants didn’t match.
Mowatt played for the Giants from 1983-1991 and would have most likely accumulated better career stats had it not been for Mark Bavaro starting over him during his career. Aside from his diminished playing time, Mowatt managed to compile 129 receptions for 1,698 yards and 12 touchdowns in 108 games.
With Mowatt and Bavaro in a double tight end formation, The Giants probably had the best blocking tight ends in franchise history and arguably the best in NFL history.