I’ve been doing a brief overview series of players I think could be poised for breakout type of years. The first two I did were Navarro Bowman of the 49ers and Gerald McCoy of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Today I look at a player that is near and dear to my own heart, Jason Pierre Paul.
Jason Pierre Paul is 6’5 270 pound athletic freak. He of the Handstand fame. Pierre Paul has long arms (34 3/4 inches, and big hands 10 3/8 inches. He dominated at the Junior College Level registering nearly 25 and half sacks in his two seasons in junior college. Then at South Florida he tallied six sacks 4 of which came in his final five weeks.
There have been few players labled a “boom or bust” player entering the N.F.L. draft in history. (A nice “bar bet” would be if you could find 10 writers that cover the draft that didn’t use the phrase at least once). People questioned his little experience and his limited production at USF in only one season. One of the football statistical analytic sites also had a study that showed that Pierre Paul was destined to be a bust by sabermetrics.He also scored very low on his wonderlic (and went to Junior College because he couldn’t quality academically).
The New York Giants, never able to resist adding a talented defensive linemen gobbled up Jason Pierre Paul with the 15th pick in the 2010 N.F.L. draft.
Last season, Jason Pierre Paul played in all 16 games for the New York Giants at defensive end and as a “gunner’ on kick off coverage. Pierre Paul started the season slow, but flashed his physical talent often. By the end of the season, Pierre Paul really started to come around, registering 4.5 sacks in his final six games. Is that a sign that Jason Pierre Paul started figuring things out, or that he was just healthier and fresher than everyone else? Time will tell.
The one lesson Jason Pierre Paul might teach all draft niks is that hustle should be a measurable. Pierre Paul was never labled as “lazy” heading into the draft and last year was praised by his hustle in practice. His physical ability is unquestioned and he’s eager to learn. Pierre Paul is also in an excellent situation with the New York Giants. They have the talented Justin Tuck and Osi Umeinyora on the outside and young talented tackles Marvin Austin and Linval Joseph on the inside.
JPP is also in line for a lot more playing time if the Giants don’t resign Mathias Kiwanuka. Jason Pierre Paul is a brekaout candidate this year, especially if the league can come to sort of resoution and Pierre Paul gets the much needed reps with his teammates. 8 sacks 60 tackles would not surprise me this year from Jason Pierre Paul.
What do you guys think?
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