“With the sixteenth pick in the 2012 NFL Draft, the New York Jets select Quinton Coples, University of North Carolina…” and with those words, a page has hopefully been turned from the failure and dysfunction of the 2011 season. At an athletic 6-6 and 285 pounds, Coples has been compared to former UNC standout Julius Peppers because of his burst off the snap and ability to get to the quarterback (17.5 sacks in his last two seasons). NFLDraftScout.com Senior Analyst Rob Rang describes Coples as an alert player that will get his hands up to cloud throwing lanes. With that height, and his 33 inch arm length, I agree completely.
Having all the measurables is one thing, knowing how to utilize them to your advantage on the football field is another.
He played both tackle and end, so he’s got versatility, but offenses may run his way because he lacks the bulk of a straight-forward defensive tackle. Quinton Coples is a solid pick at sixteen, despite the critics and their assertions to the contrary.
The Jets added another chip to the offensive arsenal by swapping picks with the Seattle Seahawks, moving up from #47 to #43, and selecting Georgia Tech wide receiver Stephen Hill. Tech runs an unconventional offense that doesn’t accentuate the wide receiver position, but with those limited touches
Hill was able to wow onlookers with his speed, hands and long jumping background. Hill ran a 4.36 at the NFL Combine, an asset noticeably absent from the current crop of Jets receivers. Here’s a 6-4 and 215 pound athlete that can run, jump and attack the football at its highest point (Doesn’t that sound like a certain Lion’s receiver?). If he can make defenses play him honest, he could clear space up the middle for Dustin Keller & Hayden Smith or punish defenses for doubling Santonio Holmes.
With pick #77, the New York Jets selected Arkansas State linebacker Demario Davis. The Jets would
love this 6-2, 230 pound linebacker to bring the heat from the edge with his 4.5 speed. In his career at ASU, Davis tallied 229 tackles and seven sacks. Davis wasn’t on everyone’s draft board, so he’ll need to prove he was worth the selection. A tackling machine like Davis will work well on special teams, and should develop into a nice linebacker over time.
The next pick for Gang Green wasn’t until the sixth round, #187 overall, where they selected Wake Forest safety Josh Bush. This won’t be a popular pick by most as Bush made no post season all-star rosters & wasn’t invited to the NFL Combine. Maybe the Jets were impressed by the 5-11, 208 pounder’s versatility, as he played both corner and safety while at Wake Forest. Bush will be another player that makes his strongest contributions to the Jets on special teams initially, but could find himself in nickel and dime packages as his playbook acumen increases.
The Jets went offense with picks #203 & #204, going with Baylor teammates Terrance Ganaway & Robert Griffin. Terrance Ganaway is a tough down-hiller that should impact the roster immediately at running back position. At six foot and 235 pounds, this sixth rounder may be the most solid pick the New York Jets made all three days! His former…and now current teammate Robert Griffin is a 6-6, 325 pound guard drafted to sure-up the Jets’ questionable interior pass-blocking. Not a blue-chipper, he projects to provide a blow for Wayne Hunter or Vladimir Ducasse when needed.
Safety Antonio Allen of South Carolina & wide receiver Jordan White of Western Michigan were the Jets’ seventh round selections. Antonio Allen is a 6-1, 210 pound ball-stopper that played close to the line of scrimmage for the Gamecocks. Jordan White is a six foot, 208 pound sure-handed receiver that played his best against the best. In a loss to Perdue in the Little Caesar’s Pizza Bowl, White lit up the Boilermakers defense for 13 catches and 265 yards! Hopefully size is this pass-catcher’s only detriment.
Gang Green made a few post-draft additions to the roster as well. My favorites so far are Marcus Dowtin, a 6-2, 226 pound linebacker out of the University of North Alabama & Donovan Robinson, a 6-3, 232 pound pass rusher from Jackson State University. As I’ve said before, I keep my player evaluations strictly on-field, so let’s hope these new additions can blend with the current roster of Jets and make for a successful 2012 season.