The New York Giants’ love affair with Northeast players — and particularly Syracuse Orange players — at the NFL Draft has been a running joke for some time now. It made a lot of sense when Tom Coughlin (an Orange alum himself) was running the show. But in the years since his departure, it’s seemingly continued. Chris Slayton was drafted in the seventh round by New York just this past year.
However, as weirdly faithful as the Giants seem to be to Syracuse, they haven’t kept up the same sort of streak as the Indianapolis Colts, who’ve picked at least one SU player every decade going to back to the 1950s (when they were in Baltimore).
It’s a streak they could extend at any point between now and 2029, so there’s time. But we may see it happen as early as Friday night.
The Colts last picked a Syracuse player in 2018 (Zaire Franklin), who was the second one this past decade after Delone Carter (2011). Indianapolis picked Dwight Freeney in 2002, Marvin Harrison in 1996 and three different players in the 1980s. Back in 1973, the Baltimore Colts selected both Joe Ehrmann and Marty Januszkiewicz, and the 1960s had seven different ‘Cuse standouts chosen. There were another five picked between 1950 and 1959.
If not for missing out on the 1970s, the Giants could’ve had a similar streak going, and were a 1940s pick away from selecting a Syracuse player in every decade going back to the 1930s (Ed Jontos was the first SU player ever drafted, when he was picked by the Giants back in 1936).
Between Indianapolis and Baltimore, the Colts also hold the edge in all-time Syracuse players drafted at 21. The Giants are second with 19, while Washington and Cleveland are the only other franchises to pick 10 or more Orange(men).