I've been on and off this site since last night reading the different comments and posts regarding the New York Jets first round pick, Quinton Coples. I have remained quiet in that time with the one exception of a comment on the 1st round thread, "I love it." But the more I sit here and think about Coples, the more I want to not only defend picking him at 16 but talk about his role and how it goes hand in hand with another Jet.
To start, I need to go back to last years first round selection by the New York Jets, Muhammad Wilkerson. I was happy with this pick, I thought it was safe but solid and he would be a good addition to the team. We saw flashes of dominance towards the beginning with a sack/safety on a three-man rush in only the second game against the Jaguars. After that he was quiet for a while but again towards the end of the season, showed dominance and commanded a couple double teams. Wilkerson played his role and finished the season with 49 tackles, 3 sacks, and one forced fumble. Not bad for a rookie with no off-season playing a position that is very difficult to master.
Fast forward to Apirl 26th, 2012 and here comes Coples. At 6-foot-6 and 284 lbs Coples is long, tall, has length and is very athletic. He ran a 4.7 at the combine and when Rex tried to "tire him out" at Coples pro-day with extra drills he "couldn't get him tired". Coples is a beast and at 16, I believe this was a steal in the middle of the first round.
Many wondered if we took Coples, if we would try to have him make the transition to OLB like we did with VG (or He-Who-Must-Not-Be-Named). Ryan squashed any talk of that when he came out and said the Jets would be using Coples as a "hand in the dirt" defensive end. After that, I knew we made the right pick.
Coples will be reunited on the defensive line with Muhammad Wilkerson, a former teammate at Hargrave Military Academy. Wilkerson, when asked by the Jets for a scouting report said (about Coples), "He's a great teammate and he's a better player than me." Asked about it today, Coples said "That's definitely a great complement from a guy such as his status, I'm proud and honored to be beside him."
Personally, I'm proud to know he'll be lining up beside Wilkerson too. Together these two will create havoc for years to come. They will be creating production not only for themselves but for each other and the other guys on the line like Ellis and Pouha. Getting to the QB without having to send everyone every time is something the Jets have been lacking for years, and to me this is the solution.
Now that the Jets have moved up in the second and grabbed Stephen Hill hopefully they can now move onto an area of higher concern like RT or S in the third and grab some depth in the 6th and 7th rounds.