Giants defensive end Jason Pierre-Paul is coming off a tremendous season, is freakishly athletic and at age 23 has an enormous upside. But one teammate may have gone a bit overboard in describing just how high Pierre-Paul’s upside is.
Giants defensive lineman Chris Canty says he thinks Pierre-Paul can be as good as Reggie White.
“There is really nobody in the league right now that you can compare him to,” Canty said on the Michael Kay Show. “The only person that kind of sticks out where you can compare him to — and I can’t believe I am saying this — but he reminds me a lot of Reggie White. His ability to play all those different positions and to impact the football game the way he does, he is an unbelievable talent.”
It’s true that Pierre-Paul has unbelievable talent, but he’s only been in the league two years. One of the things that made White amazing was how long he lasted as one of the league’s top defensive linemen. From his first season with the Eagles, when he had 13 sacks in 1985, to his last season with the Packers, when he had 16 sacks in 1998, White was among the best players in the league for a decade and a half. No one deserves to be compared to White after two years in the NFL.
But it is fair to compare Pierre-Paul to active players, and Canty says Pierre-Paul compares favorably to every defensive lineman currently in the NFL. Canty previously played with one of the league’s best pass rushers, his former Cowboys teammate DeMarcus Ware, and said there’s “no question” that Pierre-Paul is better than Ware.
“JPP’s ability to play any position along the defensive front is what makes him tremendously special,” Canty said. “He can play the shade, the two technique, the three technique . . . he can do it all . . . anything you want him to do along the defensive front, he can do.”
He’ll have to do everything along the defensive front for a long time before he can compare to White.