It was inevitable. You knew Jason Pierre-Paul wasn't getting drafted third overall (not the least of which was because that pick made zero sense for the Bucs). There was clearly a JPP bubble out there. Now clearer heads are prevailing, and it seems like he's settling in around the middle of the first round, which was where he should have been in the first place. I poked around for reputable mock drafts and found these:
- Pat Kirwan, NFL.com - 21st overall pick (Bengals). To his credit, Kirwan didn't do his first mock draft until early March and has had Pierre-Paul somewhere between 16 and 24 in all of them.
- National Football Post - 19th overall pick (Falcons). That same page has Yahoo! Sports's Shutdown Corner blog drafting PIerre-Paul in the same spot. I'm not officially including him on this list, but I'd trust him before I trusted a lot of other sites out there.
- Mike Mayock, NFL Network - I couldn't find an actual mock draft for him, which is smart because it might affect his reputation. The guy probably watches more film of college players and draft prospects than anyone else, and I would trust him over anyone else on this list. Anyway, in a blog post talking about the draft fallout from the Donovan McNabb trade, he lists Pierre-Paul as a player who will not be on the board when the Eagles pick at #24.
- Mel Kiper, Four-Letter Network - 7th overall to Cleveland? Man, that's an outlier. Even the more obscure mock drafts I found don't have him getting picked earlier than #12 by Miami. But whatever.
And that brings us to the three ding-dongs who had Pierre-Paul going third overall back in February. They were Bucky Brooks of NFL.com, Nolan Nawrocki of Pro Football Weekly, and Todd McShay, not to be confused with the brilliant impostor on Twitter who portrays "Todd McShayved" as some kind of draft-expert hobo with a staggering list of addictions.
- McShay still has Pierre-Paul 17th overall, picked by the 49ers. It's a big drop for someone who was primarily responsible for driving the guy up that high on the board in the first place. But still a reasonable place for him to be drafted.
- Bucky Brooks, who I have never heard of before this year, dropped Pierre-Paul to 26th overall, where the Cardinals take him.
- Finally, Mr. Nawrocki. I don't know what Jason Pierre-Paul did to a member of the Nawrocki family, or if he made threatening calls or e-mails to Pro Football Weekly, but Nawrocki's mock draft on March 30 had Pierre-Paul taken with the last pick of the first round by the Saints. There hasn't been any kind of scandal or major red flag since February, so I can't think of any reason why Jason Pierre-Paul would fall 29 spots in someone's mock draft other than they were a fool for rating him so highly in the first place. (Just to compound his insanity, Nawrocki released a post-McNabb-trade mock draft that not only bounced Pierre-Paul back up to the Titans at #16 overall, but also added Tim Tebow to the first round. He thinks the Eagles will take him at #24. Tebow! In the first round! No, I'm not kidding!)