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The Jets Get Coples!

By Maurisse Johnson

This year draft was moving along at a torrid pace with teams making their selections quicker than commissioner Roger Goodell could make the announcements. As the Jets sat and waited for some of the picks above their 16th slot to unfold they most have been pretty smitten to see Quinton Coples slide down past #10. Many considered Quinton Coples at the beginning of the college season as the #2 or #3 prospect in all of college football.

That’s saying a lot when Andrew Luck and Griffin on the board. And with the Jets penchant for trading up many were also surprised that they didn’t panic and trade up for a player they coveted. Instead this year’s patience paid off as each one of the top rated DE’s and projected OLB’s were still available.

Ingram, Upshaw, Jones and Coples were all on the board at 16. The Jets to the surprise of many at MSG and some sportscasters alike were a bit perplexed to the selection of Coples. Many chanted for Ingram who was seen on many a mock draft as a possible Jet selection. Even former Jet Ray Lucas considered the pick an ill-advised selection. But if you’re a NFL insider (scout, coach, etc.) the pick makes a lot of sense. Why? Well if you look at Ingram and Upshaw they are both college DE’s who had great production.

But both players would be engulfed at the DE position in the NFL so they would have to transition to an OLB in either the 3-4 or the 4-3 defenses. This is the same transition that Vernon Gholston made from college to the NFL and he’s no longer playing in the league. Drafting at 16 makes your selection a bit less costly compared to #6 overall. It’s also much harder to predict what you will get from a change of position guy compared to a player whose stock dropped a bit because his motor is in question.

Coples definitely has the size at 6?6, 284 to be a guy that can play virtually any where in Rex’s 3-4 scheme. He reminds me a lot of Julius Peppers in terms a stature, ability, and alma mater. Coples like many in this years draft is a player who has all the physical skills to be a dominant player, not just a solid player, an dominant player in the league. Rex Ryan compared him to a younger version of Trevor Pryce whose size and athletic ability made him a dominant player for years.

Whether Coples develops into that type of player for the Jets remains to be seen. Rex also said that Coples would line up in a 3-4 DE spot during his after draft conference tonight, which also indicates that a pass rushing OLB could also be in play later in the upcoming rounds. Either way I love the pick because Coples added with last years pick Wilkerson make a very formidable duo on the edge and when you add in a Pouha alongside Maybin or Pace you can instantly see that the pass rush will become better almost instantly with the pressure these 4 players can create on 1-1 matchups.

So Jet fans don’t fret yet, the draft isn’t over and as Tannenbaum has proven over the years that even when the draft is over they can bring in players passed over by other teams who can make an impact. We Jet fans should be happy to get a player with Coples skill set who was once thought so highly as a possible #2 overall pick (projection). Welcome aboard Coples! Now go get Brady!!!


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