The New York Giants have missed a lot on quarterbacks in the NFL Draft throughout history. But among all of the quarterbacks they have selected since the inaugural draft in 1936, none have been worse than the selection of Duke’s Dave Brown.
Brown, a gunslinger for the Blue Devils, graduated with a year remaining on his playing eligibility. Though he initially appeared to be set on returning for that final season, he would choose to instead enter his name into the 1992 Supplemental Draft that July.
The Giants wasted no time pouncing on the collegiate star in the first round and, as a result, surrendered their first-round pick in 1993 draft. Unfortunately for the G-Men, Brown never played even remotely looked like the first rounder they had hoped him to be.
Following incumbent starter Phil Simms’ retirement, Brown became the starting quarterback in 1994. For the next three and a half seasons, Brown was the guy for Big Blue behind center—despite underwhelming play.
Brown was ecstatic to play in New York, telling the Associated Press that “it was a dream to play for the Giants.”
In six seasons with the team, however, Brown compiled a 23-30 record, passing for 8,806 yards, 40 touchdowns and 49 interceptions. The Giants did not make one playoff appearance with him at quarterback, though they did make an appearance in 1997 after he had been replaced by second-year player Danny Kanell.
Brown never completed more than 57.7 percent of his passes and threw more interceptions than touchdowns in two of the seasons he was a starter. During that four-year stretch, he averaged just 2,196 passing yards per season and the Giants were among the league’s worst offenses in each.
Brown signed with the Cardinals following the 1997 season, but was never able to live up to the expectations placed upon him as first-round selection. He retired in 2000 having been used primarily as a backup for the final four years of his NFL career.
With a degree from Duke University on his resume, he likely didn’t take much of a hit when the football career proved to be somewhat of a failure—he did play 10 seasons in the NFL. However, that cannot erase the fact that he was an utter disappointment at the professional level and a major blunder by the Giants brass to spend their 1993 first-round pick to bring him to New York.
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