By Kip Earlywine
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
"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)
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.