First Round Surprise: New York Giants Select Jason Pierre-Paul

Mike Gliddon@mikegliddonCorrespondent IApril 23, 2010

INDIANAPOLIS, IN - MARCH 1: Defensive lineman Jason Pierre Paul of South Florida runs the 40 yard dash during the NFL Scouting Combine presented by Under Armour at Lucas Oil Stadium on March 1, 2010 in Indianapolis, Indiana. (Photo by Scott Boehm/Getty Images)
Scott Boehm/Getty Images

Who saw this one coming?

"With the 15th selection in the 2010 NFL Draft, the New York Giants select Jason Pierre-Paul, South Florida"

The 6'5" 270 lbs. athletic freak from South Florida will be throwing in his dark green Bulls jersey for a big blue uniform. But many are scratching their heads at this pick.

Some Giants fans picked up their hat and threw it down on the ground in disgust when the Oakland Raiders went with Rolando McClain at eighth overall. I personally was anticipating either Jimmy Clausen, who surprisingly fell out of the first round, or Dez Bryant to be selected by Al Davis.

Others were a little taken back when C.J. Spiller was taken right after that by Buffalo. Two guys who the Giants were supposedly coveting, and many thought might slip to the Giants, selected eighth and ninth overall.

Were the Giants rushing to get a game plan together at this point?

Still, when their selection came up, there were still a couple of players on the board who looked like they would fill the Giants needs. Sean Weatherspoon from Missouri and Dan Williams from Tennessee would have both filled defensive holes, linebacker and defensive tackle respectively. Both still available and both projected by some experts to be selected before the 15th overall selection.

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But the Giants went with Jason Pierre-Paul.

Pierre-Paul is still a work in progress. He only had one season of significance in South Florida. He did put up pretty good numbers (42 tackles, six sacks, and an interception returned for a touchdown), but was a project worth the risk of a first round pick?

There are two ways I see this.

First, the Giants are serious about moving Osi Umenyiora. Pierre-Paul would be a good fit in the defensive end position for the Giants and they would be able to mold him. He wouldn't have to play a whole lot in his first year with Justin Tuck, Mathias Kiwanuka, and Dave Tollefson in front of him on the depth chart. Watch out to see if the Giants try and move Osi on day two of the draft to get a second or third round pick for him.

The second idea behind the pick would be to move him along the defensive line. Just like the New York Giants defensive line has done over the past couple of years, they will continue to move players all over the trenches in order to create mismatches. Pierre-Paul has the size and room to grow in order to be effective anywhere on the line of scrimmage.

Either way, some fans were not happy with the selection. With guys like Weatherspoon and Williams still on the board I could see their arguments.

Keep an eye open on day two of the draft. With the first selection in the second round I expect the Giants to address their need at linebacker and go after Sean Lee from Penn State or Sergio Kindle from Texas.

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