May 122012

Defensive End/Rush Linebacker

South Florida

6-5 270

40 time: 4.64

Draft board overall prospect rank: #43

Draft board defensive end rank: #6

Overall rating: 79*

            Jason Pierre Paul is one of the more interesting NFL Draft prospects this year and he is also one of the more polarizing. Some people love him. Some think he’s overrated. I don’t think there is anyone out there who would say he’s not gifted athletically, but that’s about where the agreements stop. Jason Pierre Paul was one of the most hyped Junior College transfers in recent history because of how he dominated the JuCo level and because of his freakish athletic ability. He didn’t perform great on the field this year, with only 6.5 sacks, but he got into the backfield quite a bit and definitely showed his freakish athleticism. He showed it again at the Combine running a 4.64 at 6-5 270. However, the tape is extremely inconsistent on him. His pass rushing repertoire is pretty limited at this point and he struggled some against the run last year, possibly even appearing disinterested on run plays. He’s got a good initial explosion and first step, but he lacks elite upper body strength and he doesn’t use great leverage. He’s a bit too finesse and may have more of a future as a rush linebacker despite his size. He certainly has the athleticism and fluidity to play the rush linebacker position, but even there he would be a major project and he didn’t show much in the way of being able to drop into pass coverage and do something productive, with the exception of using his ridiculously long arms to bat down passes and the line of scrimmage. The physical upside is certainly there and getting him in the 2nd round as a rush linebacker prospect would be a steal in my book, but unfortunately that’s not going to happen. Someone is going to jump on him 15-20 picks too early and make him a mid first round pick. He may even go before Derrick Morgan, who is way more proven than him at an NCAA Division I level, because of his scheme versatility. However, if someone can’t dominant on an NCAA Division I level, how are they are going to able to dominate on an NFL level.        

NFL Comparison: Gaines Adams

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