Most mock draft from mainstream media sites have had USF junior defensive end Jason Pierre-Paul projected somewhere between the 10th and 15th picks, so it's something of a shocker that ESPN.com draft analyst Todd McShay's newest mock draft has Pierre-Paul all the way up to No. 3, with the hometown Bucs.
"The Bucs will consider Tennessee S Eric Berry here, but they are in dire need of a speed rusher and Pierre-Paul is the most explosive one this draft class has to offer," McShay writes.
What's more, McShay now has a second USF player in his projected first round, with safety Nate Allen going 27th to the Cowboys, where he would be reunited with former Bulls teammate Mike Jenkins.
From a financial standpoint, there's a huge leap to be the No. 3 pick -- last year's No. 3, defensive end Tyson Jackson, got $31-million in guaranteed money from the Kansas City Chiefs. That would be the largest contract ever signed with a former USF player, bigger than the $25-million deal Anthony Henry got from the Cowboys in 2006.
What's more exciting for Bulls fans -- that Pierre-Paul would go so high, or that he'd stay in town with the Bucs? It's only one mock draft, but with the NFL combine coming up, it's a reminder that there's little ceiling to Pierre-Paul's draft potential right now ...
Source: St. Petersburg Times - Greg Auman
PewterReport.com’s Take: If a scenario were to play out where both Nebraska DT Ndamukong Suh and Oklahoma DT Gerald McCoy were selected before the Buccaneers' third overall pick, it would be hard to believe that Tampa Bay's next player on their big board is South Florida defensive end Jason Pierre-Paul. Georgia Tech defensive end Derrick Morgan is the number one defensive end on most draft analyst’s boards, but Pierre-Paul is climbing many draft boards himself as the 2010 NFL
Part of Pierre-Paul’s success could have been due to double teams on bookend DE George Selvie. Selvie was one of the NCAA’s best pass rushers in 2007, recording 14.5 sacks. Selvie’s double teams meant more one-on-one opportunities against offensive lineman. Pierre-Paul was featured in a few packages where he was rushing from an outside linebacker position, but most of his snaps came from the 4-3 end spot.
The USF defensive end’s sack total also could have been much higher in 2009. At times, Pierre-Paul took poor angles to the quarterback once he beat his man off the line of scrimmage. After looking at his tape, it doesn’t seem like Pierre Paul has a large repertoire of moves, but one thing he does possess is a very quick first step off the line. This was also a similar trait of former Bucs' DE Gaines Adams, and Adams struggled to develop pass rushing moves at the NFL level.
The 2010 draft class has a lot of good talent as far as pass rushers are concerned, which means that the Bucs should look for a defensive end in other rounds because the value isn't there where they pick in the first round. Other notable players that Tampa Bay may be targeting after the first round at DE include Michigan’s Brandon Graham, Northwestern’s Corey Wootten, and South Florida’s George Selvie.
If a scenario came up where the Bucs traded down with a team that picks in the 15-32 range, then it would seem more feasible to take Pierre-Paul. The Bucs do have a glaring need at defensive end, but it doesn’t seem like the they are in an ideal position to be drafting a defensive end with the third overall pick in the 2010 NFL Draft. - Eric Dellaratta