One of the biggest reasons behind the New York Giants' recent success is the organization's ability to find talent in the NFL draft. Shrewd selections have provided the key pieces for the team's last two Super Bowl championships and the building blocks for the future. With the 2013 NFL draft quickly approaching, here's a look back at Big Blue's five most significant draft picks of the last 10 years.
Jason Pierre-Paul (DE) -- The Giants plucked Pierre-Paul out of South Florida with the 15th overall pick in 2010. In his first three seasons, the destructive defensive end has collected 27.5 sacks and become the lynchpin of the Giants' defense. A two-time Pro Bowl selection, Pierre-Paul recently was named one of the top under-25 players in the National Football League by NFL.com.
Hakeem Nicks (WR) -- A first-round selection (No. 29 overall) in 2009, Nicks was plagued by injuries in 2012. However, the former North Carolina Tar Heel has amassed 3,726 yards and 27 touchdowns in his first four seasons in New York. Furthermore, in four playoff games in 2012, Nicks totaled 444 yards and four touchdowns. It's no wonder that the Giants are considering a long-term contract for him.
Ahmad Bradshaw (RB) -- Released earlier this month, Bradshaw made huge contributions to the team over the last six years. The hard-nosed running back ran for 4,232 yards (sixth-most in team history) and 32 touchdowns. Plus, he was a key member of New York's last two championship teams with 480 yards and two touchdowns in nine playoff games. A seventh-round pick out of Marshall in 2007, Bradshaw has to be one of the greatest value picks in team history.
Justin Tuck (DE) -- Tuck was third-round steal in the out of Notre Dame in the 2005 NFL draft. A two-time Pro Bowl selection, he has been an anchor on the team's defensive line with 49.5 sacks and 389 total tackles over the last few years. Furthermore, he was a human wrecking ball in the Giants' last two Super Bowl victories with a pair of sacks in each game. Although he has been limited by injuries the last couple of seasons, Tuck remains a team leader and one of the key pieces on defense.
Philip Rivers (QB) -- Technically, the Giants drafted Rivers with the fourth overall pick in the 2004 NFL draft, but they had no intention of keeping him. New York promptly flipped Rivers to the San Diego Chargers for first pick Eli Manning in arguably the greatest trade in franchise history. Since taking over as Big Blue's starting quarterback during the 2004 season, Manning hasn't missed a single start. And, of course, "Elite Eli" led the team to victory in Super Bowls XLII and XLVI as the MVP of each game.
Adam Martini is a freelance sports writer with more than 15 years of experience covering amateur and professional sports for several print and online media outlets. He tracked the New York Giants for Yahoo! Contributor Network during the team's Super Bowl run in 2011-12. Adam can be found on Twitter @Pegcitysports.