Now that the Jason Pierre-Paul drama has started to settle down, the Giants need to start looking for their next man up if JPP is unavailable to begin the season. The Giants have a couple of different options to replace Pierre-Paul. A lot of what happens behind the scenes during the off-season will determine who will be the likely replacement for JPP.
It will be tough for JPP to be replaced by one player. At the other defensive end, opposite JPP’s end spot, veteran Cullen Jenkins and Robert Ayers were going to compete for the job, possibly splitting time due to their differing skill-sets.
Jenkins is tough against the run, but doesn’t generate the needed pass-rush that the Giants are looking for, especially now with JPP’s possible absence. Ayers is an very strong pass rusher, but he struggles against the run. Both of them could start at the two defensive end spots, or they could rotate with Jenkins playing the early downs, and using Ayers in passing positions. Nonetheless, they are going to need more people to help fill the huge void of JPP.
If Ayers and Jenkins do split time at one defensive end spot, I think there are three potential starters at defensive end on the Giants’ current roster. George Selvie, Damontre Moore, and rookie Owamagbe Odighizuwa are the three players who will battle for playing time. Odighizuwa is the least likely to fill the role because he is a rookie, and will experience plenty of growing pains. Learning the defensive scheme, adjusting to the speed of the NFL, and getting bigger and stronger will all hinder Odighizuwa from taking the starting position out of training camp. He may see situational time, and it could increase throughout the season, but he is the least likely to start.
The safest bet is probably Selvie, whom the Giants signed as a free agent this offseason. Selvie played in 16 games each of the last two seasons with the Cowboys, and started all but three in the past two seasons. He is the safest bet, as he has played meaningful time in the NFL. The last probable option is Damontre Moore. Moore is a talented player, who can get after the pass rusher. The third year player showed exceptional game tape at Texas A&M, but his combine numbers didn’t fit his tape, as they were very disappointing. Moore has potential, and I wouldn’t be surprised if he became a starter with JPP out, especially the deeper into the season.
No one player can replace a player like JPP. However, the Giants have a large selection of players who can hopefully perform, and lessen the damage while JPP is injured.