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Giants' Reese once again goes with big upside

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Recent posts by Eric Edholm

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Posted April 22, 2010 @ 9:48 p.m. ET
By Eric Edholm

Jason Pierre-Paul to the Giants should shock no one.

In fact, I am willing to say that Pierre-Paul might have been the pick even if Rolando McClain had been on the board. Seriously.

I’ll never forget what Ernie Accorsi told me the day after the 2006 draft when the Giants drafted Mathias Kiwanuka in Round One despite having a wealth at defensive end. In essence, he said you can never pass on pure pass rushers. They are just too rare.

That’s what George Young taught Accorsi, and it’s what Accorsi taught Jerry Reese.

And look at Reese’s first three drafts prior to the Pierre-Paul pick. "Upside" is the key word, with "risk" right behind it. Hakeem Nicks, Kenny Phillips, Mario Manningham, Clint Sintim, Ramses Barden, William Beatty — a lot of these picks were considered projections or high-risk, high-reward choices. Reese is a dice roller; he has taken more risks with each draft, and he did it again Thursday night.

Now, don’t go writing Osi Umenyiora off so fast. The Giants still could use him as the base end, move him inside on third downs and bring in Pierre-Paul to heat up the edges on third downs. But there still could be a trade involving Umenyiora, of course.

What I am trying to say is that Pierre-Paul is not going to be a three-down end who sets the edge against the run and stands up big offensive tackles. And he might have some trouble, scouts say, to grasp a complex scheme. We’ll see if Perry Fewell can keep it simple for him.

Fewell’s likely message to Pierre-Paul as a rookie: Rush the passer, young man. That’s probably all he’ll do in Year One. And as long as he does it well, this could be a decent pick one day.


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