With their top two choices off the board, the Giants selected the next best man, South Florida DE Jason Pierre-Paul. Giants GM Jerry Reese dismissed claims that Pierre-Paul was a ‘hit or miss’ pick, saying that he believed he has “the biggest upside of anyone in the draft.”
Reese also immediately put to rest any potential rumors regarding the future of Pro Bowl DE Osi Umenyiora.
“We’re not trading Osi so you don’t even have to ask that question,” Reese said.
TGI learned shortly before the draft that the Giants had the following four players in their crosshairs, in order: Clemson RB C.J. Spiller, who was drafted ninth by Buffalo, Alabama LB Rolando McClain, who went to Oakland one pick earlier, Pierre-Paul and Georgia Tech DE Derrick Morgan, who was chosen by Tennessee with the pick immediately after New York selected.
While many scouts see Pierre-Paul as a raw, risky pick, Reese strongly disagreed.
“You hear guys on TV say that,” Reese stated. “But I don’t think you’ll hear any scouts say that.”
Reese added that the 6-5, 270-pounder is “uncommon” and has “freakish” abilities “that you can’t teach.”
An excited Reese mentioned Pierre-Paul’s length, speed, long arms, athletic ability and speed. “It’s hard to find a package like that,” he said.
In three seasons at three different collegiate stops, Pierre-Paul played in 35 games, recording 161 tackles (119 solos) with 31 sacks, 56 stops for losses. He also forced seven fumbles and recovered three others.
Last season, in his first campaign at USF, Pierre-Paul broke onto the national stage in a win over Florida State when he had three tackles for loss, including a sack and a forced fumble.
Obviously the Giants had seen more than enough from Pierre-Paul to spend the 15th overall selection on him. However, with Spiller and McClain already gone, Reese was asked if he had considered trading up or down in the first round.
“I can’t say we were close to moving up or down,” he stated.
With a first-round pick spent on a DE and Umenyiora seemingly unhappy in New York, it was no surprise that the rumors started flying almost immediately. Reese squelched them just as quickly.
“Osi knows he’s going to be a Giant in the fall and he’s looking forward to it,” Reese said.