How Reggie White almost became a Giant

Posted Apr 29, 2014

A look at how Hall of Famer Reggie White almost played for the Giants

What if the Giants had drafted Reggie White and teamed him with Lawrence Taylor?


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It could have happened. The rest of the NFL is thankful it didn’t.

With hindsight always being right, the draft season raises these types of hypotheticals. It’s fun to go back and play “what if.”

In its “Caught in the Draft” series, NFL Network did exactly that. One installment highlighted the 1984 Supplemental Draft, in which the Giants selected offensive lineman Gary Zimmerman with the third pick. At No. 4, the Philadelphia Eagles took White.

“Gary Zimmerman was there,” Hall of Fame coach Bill Parcells, who led the Giants from 1983-1990, said in the feature. “I know I had a particular interest in Reggie White, too. I tried to put my two cents in, but we wound up taking Zimmerman.”

White went on to 13 straight Pro Bowls and retired as the NFL's all-time sack leader with 198. Meanwhile, Zimmerman had a career that also landed him in Canton, but not with the Giants. Zimmerman's signing rights were eventually traded to the Minnesota Vikings for two second-round picks in the 1986 draft.

He never played a game as a member of Big Blue. 

However, this twist of NFL history would not derail a Giants team which won two Super Bowls with Taylor at the core.

But to be greedy, what if the combined 330.5 sacks, 22 All-Pro selections, 23 Pro Bowls, and six NFL Defensive Player of the Year awards all came in a Giants uniform?

“Holy cow, that would have been illegal,” former Raiders general manager Ron Wolf said.

“It would be incredible,” said former linebacker Carl Banks, who was drafted by the Giants in 1984 and won two championships alongside Taylor. “It would absolutely be incredible. [Then-Giants defensive coordinator Bill] Belichick probably would have had a ball with that.”

Parcells added, “It would have been something special.”