You know a player has an impact on how you view him when you can look at what he does and seriously consider him a future Hall of Famer despite only playing two years in the league. I can’t help but get this feeling when watching Jason Pierre-Paul of the New York Giants. So I am here to warn you, fans, to not miss out on getting his jersey. You will be purchasing the jersey of a Hall of Fame player one day.
Now, I understand that things happen that are out of JPP’s control. He could blow out his knee in the season opener against the Dallas Cowboys (for the love of God please no) and never be the same player. We’ve seen it happen time and time again.
But I’m not entertaining that scenario. Obviously anything can happen at any point, but to deal in the hypothetical would make me Skip Bayless. Sorry, I’m ignoring this scenario.
I am strictly looking at the overwhelming, raw talent that JPP has. The freakish athleticism, speed, and strength he has for a man his size. People are not meant to be 6’5, 278 pounds and still able to do backflips, or look like this.
The scariest part, at least for opposing quarterbacks, is the thought that JPP has not even reached his full potential yet.
You’re now thinking “wait, the guy who finished with 16.5 sacks and led defensive linemen with 86 tackles can get better?”
Also holding JPP back a bit is the fact that the Giants rotate their defensive lineman a ton when they are healthy. But now that he’s shown he is not only reliable, but a dominant force, the Giants will keep him on the field more. Do not be shocked if JPP approaches Michael Strahan’s single season sack record of 22.5.
Do not be shocked if, when Osi Umenyiora bolts for a new team and more money next year, JPP becomes the first player to record 25 sacks in a season (If Jared Allen doesn’t do it first). He’s that good. He’s that explosive. He’s that dominant.
JPP didn’t even play a full college career at the highest level. He only had one year of FBS before he jumped ship for the NFL. When the Giants made him the 15th overall pick in 2010, it was met with much criticism as it was assumed the Giants needed a linebacker.
I don’t see anyone complaining now.
JPP has progressed faster than anyone could have expected, which makes me feel like he could show off how good he can really be this season. Learning next to Justin Tuck and Umenyiora has only helped him grow, but his brute strength, incredible quickness and freakish athleticism has made him one of the best defensive players in the league.
I cannot count how many times he bailed out the defense in 2011. I can remember tweeting during certain games, thinking the Giants would be getting blown out if it weren’t for JPP keeping the Giants within reach.
As long as JPP avoids career threatening injuries, which is a threat to anyone who steps on the field, he will be inducted into the Hall of Fame.
It’s simply a matter of when.
Jeff is an NFL Featured Columnist for RantSports.com. He contributes mainly to the New York Giants and NFL Rumors pages. He also will occasionally touch on the NBA and humorous videos involving all sports.
Follow Jeff on Twitter @Jeff_Shull