The New York Giants used their top draft pick on defensive end Jason Pierre-Paul from the University of South Florida, seeking to improve a defense that surrendered the third-most points in the National Football League last season.
Pierre-Paul, a 6-foot-6, 265-pound pass rusher, was the 15th overall pick in the NFL draft in New York tonight and his selection was cheered by the hometown crowd.
Pierre-Paul was a junior at South Florida last season and made 16 1/2 of his 45 tackles behind the line of scrimmage, including 6 1/2 sacks, in 13 games.
The Giants finished 8-8 last season after a 5-0 start and allowed 40 points or more in five games. They gave up 427 points for the season, behind only a franchise-record 501 in 1966. The 26.7 points-per-game average was the third highest in the NFL, leading to the firing of defensive coordinator Bill Sheridan.
Pierre-Paul joins a group of New York pass rushers that includes Osi Umenyiora, Justin Tuck and Mathias Kiwanuka. Umenyiora last season was demoted to playing in pass-rushing situations and said this offseason that he wants a trade if his role doesn’t change.