For months, many speculated that the Jets would make every effort to select a pass rusher in the first round, despite mock after mock linking them receivers, offensive lineman and defensive tackles.
It seems that Rex and Tanny heard the fans cries for a pass rusher, thought not exactly in the way that many had hoped. The Jets made calls to move up about an hour into the draft, and then there was some speculation that while on the clock, they might make a move to trade down.
Though he is extremely gifted, Coples has fallen a bit in the past few months due to complaints about his motor and a belief that he had a tendency to takes plays off.
There is little doubt that his senior tape was just not up to par with his junior tape, and that also had people asking questions.
But at the end of the day, I believe in Rex, and I believe that he can get the best out of this guy with tremendous upside. If the Coples we see on the field in 2012 is the guy from his junior year at North Carolina, I have no doubt he will help the defense create more pressure on opposing quarterbacks.
Here’s a pretty accurate description of Coples, from SBNation:
Coples, a 6-foot-6, 285-pounder, is seen as a talented prospect who possesses all the athletic traits to become an elite NFL defensive end, but still lacks a level of polish most teams look for. Though still raw, Coples is blessed with size, strength, long arms and quickness that sets his ceiling high, even though he’s not a sure thing at the Jets’ selection midway through the first round.
You will note that Coples has the long arms and size that guys like Ingram and Upshaw do not, and that may have been part of the reason for the pick. Coples looks the part, and he has the raw talent.
I find it interesting the Jets used so much time to make their selection, and it indicates to me that perhaps not everyone was on board with the pick. I know we will find out more about how this decision was made in the coming days, but we did learn this, from Coples, per Dennis Waszack, Jr: “Coples says Rex promised him that if he were still there at No. 16, the Jets would take him.” This was a Rex move, and perhaps that can give a little relief to those that are nervous about the selection.