Position: Defensive End
College: South Florida
Overall Pick: 15
Year Drafted: 2010
Remember when Jason Pierre-Paul lost part of two fingers during his Fourth of July fireworks incident? That incident has overshadowed the fact that Pierre-Paul has been among the best players on the Giants defense since his entry to the league in 2010.
JPP’s defining year came in 2011, when he took the baton from Tuck and Osi as the Giants’ premier pass rushing defensive end. He racked up 16.5 sacks, 65 tackles, and 2 forced fumbles, leading the Giants to a Super Bowl victory.
Pierre-Paul has struggled with injuries throughout his NFL career– he is currently sidelined for the remainder of the regular season with a sports hernia. His most recent injury is a shame, considering how well he was playing– 7 sacks, 8 passes defensed, 53 tackles, and 3 forced fumbles have JPP in the conversation for a Pro Bowl nod. More importantly, this season is the first time that he has looked close to returning to his pre-injury dominance.
Pierre-Paul has a shot of making it back during the postseason (it would probably not be until the Conference Championship Game, assuming the Giants advance that far), but regardless, his career trajectory has bounced back nicely following his firework fiasco.
Pierre-Paul’s contribution in 2011, his 12.5 sack year in 2014, and his bounce back 2016 are three examples of how good a defender this guy can be. When he is at his best, he is among the most dominant defensive players in football. Talk about a draft pick well spent.