A couple of quick facts about the man the Giants selected with the fifteenth-overall pick last night: He didn’t start playing football until he was a junior in high school, then after a stint in community college, played just one year at South Florida, where he recorded six and a half sacks in thirteen games. The Post, being kind, calls him untested. Football Outsiders, being less kind, pegs him as the least-promising pass rusher of all the Draft’s top prospects.
It’s no surprise, then, that Jerry Reese’s comments about Pierre-Paul include phrases like “the biggest upside of any player in the draft” and “the sky’s the limit.” The whole basis for the pick is that a raw athletic talent like Pierre-Paul — who’s drawn comparisons to Jevon Kearse — will develop into a better player with some good coaching. The Giants would have loved to have taken linebacker Rolando McClain here (and there were no shortage of people who thought they’d have jumped at the chance to take running back C.J. Spiller). But by the time the Giants picked, they were left with the next best thing on their draft board — one with potential upside but definite risk.
The selection of a defensive end presents another issue, as well: Assuming they do mold him into a legit NFL player, how much action will he see? The Giants currently have no shortage of defensive ends, and Reese swears he’s not looking to trade Osi Umenyiora.
Just for the hell of it, here’s video of Pierre-Paul doing fourteen backflips before last season’s International Bowl. It really is impressive stuff.