Blog Entry

DE Pierre-Paul draft's most overrated player

Posted on: April 12, 2010 8:08 pm

As we inch closer to the first primetime first round in NFL history, I continue to work the phone lines in an effort to best predict its outcome.

One of the more useful strategies I've come to rely on over the years is asking league sources to identify one or two players who are being severely overrated by the media.

Maryland offensive tackle Bruce Campbell got several votes, but the player who received the vast majority of them was South Florida defensive end Jason Pierre-Paul.

Pierre-Paul's athleticism and lanky frame intrigue teams, but scouts are getting past the hypotheticals and are now focusing on the realities. Pierre-Paul started a total of seven games at the D-I level -- and these games weren't consecutive. In fact, the most games he started consecutively with the Bulls was the final three of his career.  Earlier in the year, he'd start a game or two and then get benched for a game or two. He didn't qualify academically out of high school, played at two different junior colleges (College of the Canyons and Fort Scott Community College) and obviously left after only one season at South Florida. Furthermore, while his statistics with the Bulls (45 tackles, 16.5 tackles for loss, 6.5 sacks) are impressive considering his relative lack of starting time, scouts attribute at least some of his success to playing opposite an established pass rush threat in George Selvie and being protected by legitimate NFL talent in the secondary behind him.

Scouts don't question his upside, but tell me that Pierre-Paul is "at least" one year away from being a major contributor to an NFL team. He lacked the strength and toughness last year to provide much in terms of run defense for the Bulls and really disappointed at the Combine, struggling during interviews by showing very little understanding of basic football principles.

Considering the value of pass rushers, scouts still thought Pierre-Paul would "probably" make the first round, but weren't certain what teams could afford to devote millions to such a project.
"I wouldn't even use a second round pick on the guy," said one high ranking team official. "You see flashes, sure, but [the team that drafts him] had better keep things simple. Don't ask him to know gap assignments. Don't ask him to really play football. Just rush the passer."

Since: Apr 14, 2010
Posted on: April 15, 2010 11:29 pm

DE Pierre-Paul draft's most overrated player

OT  Bruce Campbell is definitely a 2nd-3rd round project player, but I still think he goes to Al Davis at #8. Al always goes for the speed and Campbell is a workout warrior. Any mock that assumes Al will draft the BPA, even at a position of need, is begging to be be wrong. He has a well-established history of reaching for athletes instead of drafting good football players.

Since: Mar 19, 2009
Posted on: April 14, 2010 1:03 pm

DE Pierre-Paul draft's most overrated player

I agree with this and have both players (Campbell and P-Paul) out of my first round in the mocks I have done.

Since: Sep 11, 2008
Posted on: April 12, 2010 9:14 pm

DE Pierre-Paul draft's most overrated player

Why does Mike Mayock from NFL network rate this guy the #1 DE?  Personally I think Derrick Morgan, Jared Odrick, Everette Brown, Jerry Hughes, Brandon Graham, and Carlos Dunlap are better than him.  I wasn't impressed by watching film of him, he missed way too many plays and doesn't play the run.  also he misses alot of tackles.

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