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New York Giants’ Jason Pierre-Paul Would not Be Surprised If Team Drafts Another Pass Rusher

April 25th, 2013 at 2:35 PM
By Paul Tierney

'Jason Pierre-Paul' photo (c) 2012, Mike Morbeck - license: With the 2013 NFL Draft just mere hours away, the New York Giants are on the precipice of building upon a core of young talent that has already contributed to the improbable acquisition of a Lombardi Trophy. Although the team has needs along the offensive line, at linebacker and in the secondary, the mantra "You can never have too many pass rushers" has never proven more accurate in today's pass happy, high-octane NFL.

With that in mind, two-time Pro Bowler Jason Pierre-Paul says that, despite the team's depth on the defensive line, it's not out of the question that general manager Jerry Reese selects a pass rusher in the first-round of tonight's draft.

"They took me," Pierre-Paul said. "We didn't need me, either. So, I don't know. Maybe or maybe not.  Basically, whoever comes on the Giants tomorrow or whoever we pick, we're going to be looking for them to step up very quickly and get on that field."

Reese's philosophy of selecting the best player available makes predicting who the Giants will draft an entertaining, yet futile practice. Given the volatility and lack of star power at the top of this year's draft, it's impossible to know how the board will look by the time the Giants are on the clock with the 19th selection. If the right pass rusher falls to the Giants, the team will surely look to continue its long-standing tradition of selecting dominant defensive ends in the early rounds.

With Osi Umenyiora, whose 73.5 sacks rank fourth in the history of the franchise, now a member of the Atlanta Falcons, the Giants have a void to fill at the third defensive end position. The logical scenario is that Mathias Kiwanuka moves from strong-side linebacker to full-time duties on the defensive line. However, moving Kiwanuka back to his natural position is not a permanent solution. In 2014, a 31-year old Justin Tuck will hit free agency, and could potentially sign elsewhere. If the Giants do not add young talent at defensive end now, the team could be left with a marginally talented pass rushing ability in future seasons. 

Pierre-Paul says that his while his transition from college football to the NFL has been successful thus far, any rookie defensive end who comes into the league will experience a learning curve.

"That first game, it's going to be a problem," Pierre-Paul said. "All they have to do is come in and do what coach asks them to do, and it'll be alright.

Throughout the offseason, the Giants have acquired depth at a variety of positions that will allow the team to bring  its draft picks along slowly and develop each individual player to meet his full potential. In 2012, running back was not high on the list of team needs, but Reese selected David Wilson anyway, in anticipation that Ahmad Bradshaw's days of productivity were numbered. This year, with an aging and declining Tuck in the final year of his contract, Reese may be inclined to bring on another edge-rusher who can get to the quarterback.

The Giants have a variety of needs to fill in this draft, and there are no guarantees that the team has an opportunity to acquire an impact pass rusher in the early rounds. Regardless, Pierre-Paul says that he will welcome any player that improves the Giants' chances of making it back to the playoffs in 2013. 

"Whoever is going to come in here and make us win another championship, or get us to the playoffs, I'll take anybody," Pierre-Paul said. "That's it. It doesn't matter who it is. As long as they are going to step up to the plate and get us to the playoffs, I'm good with that."


Tags: 2013 NFL Draft, Atlanta Falcons, Football, Jason Pierre-Paul, linebacker, Mathias Kiwanuka, New York, New York Giants, NFL, Osi Umenyiora

39 Responses to “New York Giants’ Jason Pierre-Paul Would not Be Surprised If Team Drafts Another Pass Rusher”

  1.  kujo says:

    I like JPP’s plain spoken demeanor. Maybe it’s rehearsed lines to hide how dumb he is, but he comes off as a very straight forward, no BS (pun) type of guy.

  2.  Paul Tierney says:

    This is the first of many articles I’ll write over the next few days using interviews I did at the ESPN the Magazine Pre-Draft Party in NYC last night. It was an incredible experience, got to interview a ton of players, plus running backs coach Jerald Ingram. Barry Sanders, Michael Strahan were there plus a ton of celebrities. It was an awesome experience and it’s going to enable our site to put up some content that you will not be able to find anywhere else.

  3.  GOAT56 says:

    NFL Draft surprise? Raiders may take Hayden third overall

    Several teams picking in the high end of the first round believe the Raiders, if they cannot trade down, will take Houston cornerback D.J. Hayden with the third overall pick, which would certainly qualify as the first shocker of this unpredictable draft.

    Hayden has made a tremendous rise since taking a blow to his heart from a helmet in November and nearly dying.

    Multiple clubs have him rated as the top corner available, according to league sources. And as his medical issues have subsided and his months of recovery have him back in peak condition, teams have increasingly elevated his draft stock.

    Still, going third overall would be a surprise to many. The Raiders are high on him and are seen as a true wild card at the top of the draft. And though they are trying to trade down, other clubs are penciling them with Hayden in their projections. One GM in the top 10 believes Oakland will be able to pull off a trade down — in which case, Hayden would be the target of that move.

    Oakland has been linked with Florida defensive tackle Sharrif Floyd, as well as any of the top three offensive tackles. But the Hayden buzz is growing. If the Raiders keep the third pick and Hayden’s name is called, I can’t consider it a surprise anymore.

    And several executives that I was in contact with would be surprised to hear any other name called at this point.

    •  GOAT56 says:

      I think this draft will have some shockers. Now Daniel Jeremiah has joined Mayock is mocking Justin Pugh to us. I don’t think that will happen but some as surprising could.

    •  Sonny Mukhopadhyay says:

      Drafting Hayden with the 3rd pick, is a move that Al Davis would make…….and he’s dead.

      He did always believe in DBs first and foremost (provided they had speed to burn).

      Is screwing up the draft and reaching their way of honoring his memory ?

  4.  GOAT56 says:

    2013 NFL Draft: Six guys who may sneak into the first round

    Here are six players who were mentioned more than once in my conversations this week.

    Menelik Watson, OT Florida State: The former Marist College basketball player from England has clearly impressed offensive line coaches and is under serious consideration as a first-round selection after just 11 college starts. As one coach said “he is as good a right tackle candidate as I have evaluated in 10 years.” Another quote was “he does things in 11 starts that some players haven’t done in 11 years of playing football.”

    D.J. Hayden, CB Houston: Here’s a young man who had a near fatal situation with a torn blood vessel in November and is now flying up draft boards. I had a well-respected secondary coach say “DJ is the second-best corner in the draft. I like him more than Rhodes or Trufant.” He went on to say, “this guy can mirror receivers, flip his hips with ease and has great NFL skills.”

    Robert Woods, WR USC: Woods has been lurking behind Cordarrelle Paterson, Tavon Austin, Keenan Allen and Justin Hunter for most of the spring, but his name keeps popping up when I’m discussing the wide receivers in the draft. One coach said, “I was impressed with Woods’ route running, knowledge of the game, work ethic and toughness; he’s a safe pick even in the first round.” Will he beat some of the aforementioned wideouts to the podium Thursday night? Possibly.

    Kyle Long, OG/OT Oregon: Many have claimed his best position in pro football is guard and it may very well be true. But I had an offensive line coach tell me he really likes Long as a right tackle and was impressed with how much the former Ducks player understood about the position after just five major college starts. If that o-line coach has any say in the draft he wants Long in the second round.

    Tank Carradine, DE Florida State: From Butler Community College to a backup at Florida State to off the bench for an injured starter to a torn ACL, Carradine ran well recently and in the eyes of a few NFL people might have passed his teammate Bjoern Werner. I’m not sure that he has really passed Werner, but he’s in the conversation and could finish up this incredible journey as a first-round selection.

    Darius Slay, CB Mississippi State: Slay started out as the “other” corner opposite Johnthan Banks, but after running in the 4.3 range while Banks ran in the 4.6 range the tables have turned. A secondary coach told me, “I like both guys but there’s more upside to Slay and in time has a chance to be a better pro.” Slay was a late invite to New York for the draft and that means a late first/early second round spot for him.

    •  norm says:

      I could see Watson as a possibility if Cooper, Warmack, and Fluker are all gone.

      He’s the kind of raw, physical specimen oozing with upside that Reese finds hard to resist. The “JPP of tackles” as it were.

      •  GOAT56 says:

        I think Watson could be rate higher than some or all of those players on our board due to his upside. Having a RT that can someday play LT does give some flexibility with Beatty down the road.

  5.  Samardzija says:

    Id like Pugh in the second. No waaaaay we are picking him at 19

  6.  F0XLIN says:

    Garafolo retweet; Joeckel has apparently been told by KC that Fisher is their pick

  7.  BigBlueGiant says:

    man, I’d love to see Milner slip.

    •  demo3356 says:

      Amen brother, I would be so stoked..
      He is my dream pick
      Ogeltree would be my realistic choice
      but knowing JR’s history, I’m thinking Fluker the best available corner or Vaccaro will be the pick

      •  BigBlueGiant says:

        Walter Football has Millner falling to us.

        I;d be VERY happy with Millner, Trufant, Rhodes, Vaccaro.

  8.  F0XLIN says:

    Enjoy the draft fellas

  9.  kujo says:

    FYI, it is G101 etiquette NOT to be the guy who overloads the servers by sending comments in rapid succession of the draft pick, or refreshing with a speed that can only be compared to the swift response Burfict’s naked **** solicits from BBG’s salivary glands!

    Translation: there will be an influx of celebratory and commiseratory posts tonight, so be patient and let a few seconds pass before sending yours through.

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