Friday, 19 February 2010

POTD: Jason Pierre-Paul, DE, USF

By Kip Earlywine

Height: 6'6"
Weight: 263
Unofficial 40: 4.76


  • Extreme athleticism
  • Size, frame, room for physical growth
  • Decent tackler
  • Decent edge rush
  • Fast off the snap
  • Played both sides of a 4-3 line
  • Lots of untapped potential
  • 16.5 TFL, which is pretty good for a 1st season


  • Extremely raw, very little experience
  • Limited pass rush repertoire
  • Mediocre hand use
  • Moves around like a basketball player
  • Slow feet, sometimes lacks quickness
  • Can be easily juked by mobile QB's
  • Highly questionable desire and motivation
  • Only 1 season of division I

Sound bites:

"Player Comparison: Gaines Adams. Forget that Adams was a bust in Tampa. This comparison has everything to do will the SKILL SET and JPP is exactly like Adams. Different intangibles could lead to a different career for JPP. "
-Matt McGuire (Walter Football)

My thoughts:

To be blunt, "JPP" is not a football player right now. Watching him play felt like watching a high school prospect. He almost looks like he's jogging when he runs, and while being 6'6" would make winning leverage difficult anyway, he seems content with running very tall. Another thing I noticed, when he runs, he seems to just have his arms flailing about randomly, which reminds me of a basketball player or high school football player.

To be honest, I'm pretty blown away that he has 16.5 TFL somehow. I don't see explosiveness, hustle, aggressiveness, or desire. Despite his amazing measurables and off the field athleticism, JPP never looked dominating on it and sometimes looked nonathletic amazingly enough. I was pretty shocked to see how many times players with far less athleticism ran around him with total ease or juked him out of his shoes. He also has undeveloped hand use and struggles to separate. Even his edge rush is not skilled- its just pure athleticism. JPP is the rawest 1st round defensive end prospect I think I've ever seen. Everson Griffen looks polished and skilled in comparison.

It turns out, there's a reason JPP looks like a basketball player out there. He was a basketball player through his junior year of high school. He played 1 year of high school football, then two years of JuCo college football (oddly enough, for two different junior colleges), before coming to one of the smallest BCS schools and playing 1 season of division I football. In a way, I really should be giving JPP a lot of credit for the stats he produced (including 6.5 sacks), because in terms of experience, he's the equivalent of a high school senior, and those kind of stats are pretty good for any first year division I player. I understand why JPP came out and financially, he obviously made the right decision, but I really wish he had spent another year in college to develop. Playing time is earned in the NFL and development can be difficult. JPP will likely struggle badly in his first 2-3 seasons. How long will an NFL team continue to give him painful reps for the sake of development? Defensive end is one of the slowest developing NFL defensive positions, and it regularly takes even very talented prospects 1-2 years to start playing well. Whoever drafts JPP, they are doomed for failure unless they are ridiculously patient.

Opinion of JPP will hinge upon the perception of his ability to develop. The NFL does not allow teams to draft players out of high school, but consider this the equivalent. The player JPP reminds me the most of is Jordan Kent. Kent was also a basketball player who attempted a very late conversion to football. Kent's size and athleticism gave him the potential of a true #1 WR, but at the end of the day, he completely lacked toughness, aggression, intangible skills and instincts, in other words- he just wasn't a football player. I see a lot of the same symptoms with JPP. That makes me pessimistic that he will reach his vast potential. If you disagree, he's a worthy top 25 pick.


ivotuk said...

Here's the thing about JPP, George Selvie was a force in 2008 and was double-teamed a lot in 2009 which opens the door for JPP to succeed.

I don't know if that is the only reason JPP was successful but I would be leary of the guy in the 1st round because everything about him screams bust. Hell, he even sucks at rock/paper/scissors...

Kip Earlywine said...

We all have biases, its just a matter of how much we try to repress them. I try my hardest to be fair and objective when I do these. But in this case, I couldn't agree more with something you said Ivotuk:

"...everything about him screams bust."

Typically, athletes who don't yet look like football players are 7th round picks. Typically, I'd feel pretty uneasy drafting a guy like that in the 5th. But JPP is pretty much a sure bet to be a 1st rounder, maybe even top 10, because of his measurables. I'm understanding if people like him or want to take a chance, but I think he's a terrifying option: he's a game of Russian Roulette... with 5 bullets in the revolver.

Nick said...

This whole JPP hype is the most confusing thing about the draft to me. Selvie outplays him on nearly every snap in that video.

Nick N.

Jon Smith said...

I think the only place he can go and have the time to evolve is Oakland. Free agents are less and less likely to land in the Black Hole these days and duhrayduhz tend to pick guys and live with them.
Most other teams would get antsy after a couple years of growing pains.

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Overheard some co-workers talking about it all week but didn't have time to ask so I thought I would post it here to see if someone could help me out.

Seems to be getting alot of buzz right now.