Originally posted on Helmet2Helmet  |  Last updated 9/5/12

In his breakout year of 2011, Giants defensive end Jason Pierre-Paul helped carry the Giants to a Super Bowl championship with 16.5 sacks, becoming one of the league’s most feared pass-rushers in the process.

Scarily entering his third NFL season at the ripe age of 23, Pierre-Paul calculated that he’s only tapped into half of his potential.

“I am about 50 (percent),” Pierre-Paul said, via the Star-Ledger. “I am still learning. That is the good thing about it. I want to come out here and learn and keep on improving.”

Considered a raw prospect after playing just one year of college ball, the Giants, stockpiled with able-bodied defenders, were expecting to develop Pierre-Paul, slowly easing him into game action. Even though the team strayed away from that plan, no one expected him to jump in the fray and dominate so quickly.

He surprised many teammates, including Mathias Kiwanuka, who feels JPP “absolutely” can reach 30 sacks and end up as “one of the best ever.”

“A 30-sack guy?” Kiwanuka asked.

“He could be. Absolutely,” Kiwanuka continued. “He definitely has the potential to be one of the best ever. There’s so much that goes into it that’s out of his control so you don’t want to jinx him or anything like that, but if the kid keeps working and God’s on his side and he stays healthy, we expect to see great things out of him.”

The single-season sacks record, held by ex-Giant Michael Strahan, currently stands at 22.5. Pierre-Paul may never reach 30 — the almost-impossible equivalent of a quarterback throwing for 6,000 yards — but he definitely should be in contention with the likes of Jared Allen to surpass the all-time mark.

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