Ranking the Top-7 Greatest Offensive Linemen  in New York Giants Franchise History

The Giants have had a lot of memorable and not so memorable offensive linemen in their history. Here is a look at John Gidley's choice for the most memorable ones.
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This week’s installment of the greatest Giants by position brings us to the men that iconic college football broadcaster Keith Jackson often referred to as the “big uglies.”

These are the top seven offensive linemen (regardless of position) who have worn the Giants' uniform.

7. Shaun O’Hara, 2004-10

At the heart of every great team is a strong center, which is what the 2000s Giants had in this Rutgers alum. Originally drafted by Cleveland, O’Hara was an offensive guard for the Browns before switching to center upon his 2004 arrival in New York.

What followed were three Pro Bowl selections and, of course, a championship in 2007.

6. David Diehl, 2003-13

The Giants began forming their championship line by selecting this Illinois product in the fifth round of the 2003 draft. Diehl started every game in both Super Bowl seasons of 2007 and 2011.

Despite these accolades, he was only chosen for one Pro Bowl in his 11-year career and was never voted to an All-Pro team.

5. Chris Snee, 2004-13

The Giants’ trade with the Chargers that sent Eli Manning to New York is remembered most about the 2004 draft. In the second round that year, they selected this right guard from Boston College that just so happened to be the son-in-law of first-year head coach Tom Coughlin.

However, the drafting of Snee was far from nepotistic: he was there for both Super Bowl wins, was a four-time Pro Bowler, and was voted first-team All-Pro in 2008.

4. Bart Oates, 1985-93

This BYU center went undrafted in 1983 and instead started his career in the USFL. After three seasons with the Philadelphia/Baltimore Stars, the Giants signed Oates in 1985 after their previous center, Kevin Belcher, was forced to retire due to injuries sustained in a car accident.

Oates is the only lineman on this list to win three Super Bowls. Two of them came with New York in 1986 and 1990, while the third came near the end of his career with San Francisco in 1994.


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3. Steve Owen, 1926-31, 1933

Most remember Steve Owen as the Giants’ head coach of 24 - yes, twenty-four - seasons between 1930 and 1953. Before his long coaching career, however, Owen was a fine offensive tackle.

He was the Giants ' captain for most of his playing career, most notably for the 1927 team that outscored their opponents, 197-20. Owen also played alongside his brother, Bill, both of whom were alumni of Phillips University in Enid, Oklahoma.

2. Rosey Brown, 1953-65

Names like Frank Gifford, Charley Conerly, and Kyle Rote are the names that first come to mind when you mention the Giants’ legendary offenses of the 1950s and 60s.

One of the men that made all those drives happen was Rosey Brown. Forget Tom Brady being drafted in the sixth round. Brown, an alum of Morgan State University, was chosen by the Giants in the 27th round of the 1953 draft.

Despite his late selection, Brown immediately became New York’s starting left tackle. He retired 12 years later with an NFL championship, five All-Pro selections, and an eventual induction into the Pro Football Hall of Fame.

1. Mel Hein, 1931-45

Born in Northern California in 1909, Melvin Jack Hein played three years at Washington State, helping the Cougars to a 1930 Rose Bowl berth. He was signed by the Giants the next year, at a time when Big Blue was in their infancy.

Over the next 15 seasons, two championships and eight All-Pro selections were added to Hein’s resume. In 1963, he was a part of the Pro Football Hall of Fame’s inaugural class.

It can be argued that in this era, while the Giants--and the NFL as a whole--were attempting to curry favor with the viewing public, no player contributed to their eventual popularity more than “Old Indestructible,” Mel Hein.

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