With the 15th pick in the 2010 NFL Draft, the New York Giants selected Jason Pierre-Paul, DE, South Florida. Pierre-Paul is freakishly athletic with some major upside. But, he played just one season at USF and started in just seven games; he is as raw as raw can be.

This pick is very high risk, very high reward. It’s feast or famine. You don’t use your first round pick on a feast or famine player. Famine shouldn’t even be in your vocabulary in round one. You don’t draft potential in the first round. That’s for the late rounds, not round one. A first round selection should be someone who will be an impact player for the next ten years. You are looking for Jeremy Shockey, Lawrence Taylor. Someone who’s ability and performance won’t have to be questioned.

Here’s a scouting report on another player who had tremendous talent, upside, and ability; but had question marks surrounding his game: Broke out last year…has the natural abilities to succeed at the next level…must round out his game and prove he can handle stronger competition (SI.com).

That was Brandon Jacobs’ (4th Round, 110 Overall) scouting report from 2005 – a player with terrific makeup, build, and ability; yet severely unproven. Sound familiar? Sounds a lot like Jason Pierre-Paul, no? Sounds like a mid-rounder to me.

(A quick tangent – I’ve been listening to “Jumper” by Third Eye Blind for the last 16 hours.)

I know Pierre-Paul has the “almost limitless” potential to be an impact pass rusher for years to come. He could be the best player from this class, or he could be the worst. It really could go either way, and that should never be the reaction to a first round pick. There is no reason to use a first round pick on potential. “Feast or famine” shouldn’t even be in the discussion.

Potential is nothing until it is fully harnessed. Potential doesn’t win championships.