Tom Coughlin was asked last week to discuss how the Giants arrived at the Jason Pierre-Paul pick back in 2010.
“We went to the workout of JPP at South Florida, and we were just standing there, observing, and he did a back flip at what… 270 pounds or whatever it was? We said, ‘Well, maybe this is a pretty good athlete here,’ ” Coughlin explained.
Of course, the draft process is a lot more complex than that, but teams in Indianapolis this week have their eyes open for the next great defensive player. In 2011, the Broncos got Von Miller with the second pick. The Cardinals took cornerback Patrick Peterson fifth. And the Texans grabbed J.J. Watt at No. 11.
All three are special, game-changing players. While this draft doesn’t feature an impressive quarterback group, there are several stand-out defensive options with great upside.
One of them is Oregon defensive end/outside linebacker Dion Jordan (6-6 1/2, 248). We wrote about Jordan over the weekend, and this morning, he ran an unofficial 4.53 40-yard dash. NFL Network’s Mike Mayock, who previously compared Jordan to San Francisco’s Aldon Smith, said in two years, “He’s going to be one of the major disruptive forces in the NFL.”
Jordan is going to have offseason shoulder surgery, but there is a lot to like. He’s long, athletic, versatile and was a productive player in college. Chip Kelly also seemed to love his intangibles – specifically Jordan’s toughness. He played five games last year with the shoulder injury.
There’s still a long way to go, but as of Feb. 25, Jordan has to be on the short list of potential Eagles targets.
UPSIDE OF ANSAH
When it comes to high risk, high reward prospects, BYU’s Ezekiel Ansah is at the top of the list. At 6-5, 271, he ran a 4.62 40 today.
“I’m willing to bet on the kid,” Mayock said last week. “I think he’s going to go earlier than later. When you get these kind of guys, and [Jason Pierre-Paul], he’s way more raw than JPP was a couple years ago. People want to use that comparison, but he’s not there yet. But I think he’s going to become a good player.”
Ansah really only played one full season on defense, totaling 4.5 sacks and 13 tackles for loss last year. He grew up playing soccer and basketball in Ghana, tried out for the hoops team at BYU, but didn’t make it and switched over to football.
“I was really athletic,” Ansah explained. “I didn’t want to just sit around and go to school. I wanted to do something. Since basketball didn’t work out, I wanted to do football.”
Ansah is being looked at as an outside linebacker or defensive end. He’s expected to be a first-round pick.