I won’t lie; In the moment, I was not gung-ho about the Jets selection last night. But over the course of a few hours, after I thought things through, I’ve warmed up to the pick.
Here’s why I was initially unhappy: The team drafted DE Muhammed Wilkerson in the first round last year. Yes, Quinton Coples is a very different kind of player, but I believed that the team needed to go with a pass rusher that could play or had experience playing OLB. Keeping that in mind, I was hoping and anticipating that the Jets would select either Ingram , Upshaw or Jones, especially with Mark Barron off the board (a player they were supposedly interested in trading for). But reports have indicated the Jets did not have a mid-first round grade on Ingram (perhaps that is why they were pushing to move back), and that Coples was the highest rated player on their board. Now, I will get more into why Coples will actually help the rush - because he can and will – but this is where my initial thoughts were at.
Secondly, I was bothered by the fact that the Jets selected a player that had red flags associated with him, and I don’t like the idea that you have to “motivate” a first round draft pick. I’m also very uncomfortable with the “boom or bust” conversation that has surrounded Coples as of late.
That said, I do think that of all people, Rex Ryan knows how to use and motivate a player like Coples. We have since learned that Rex told Coples he would draft him if he was there, and that tells me that Rex is pretty jazzed up about this guy. And let’s be real: Rex has made a career putting together a tough Dline, and the addition of Karl Dunbar as the DLine coach makes this pick even more intriguing. When you combine the skills of all the different guys the Jets presently have on the line, you can throw out a lot of different looks and create pressure in a variety of ways. I think we might even see some 4-3 looks from the Jets this year. (Of course, you have to wonder what happens to Mike DeVito now).
I am also hopeful that Coples is just a piece of the Jets solution. If the team can draft an OLB with upside over the weekend, (I have presented some names below that could be drafted in rounds 2-3), they can create a rush with combination of Coples + 3-down DE/OLB TBD and also allow Maybin to perform a role similar to what he did last year, which was very effective. This will also free up Pace and others to be at their best in situational roles.
Basically what I am saying is, let’s just wait and see how everything plays out. I’m not just talking to you, I am talking to myself.
One more word on last night: Apparently, if Coples had not been available, DeCastro would have been the pick. I am interested in hearing what people think about that, as it was widely speculated that the Jets would NOT be drafting an offensive lineman early.
As for what we can expect to see from the team tonight? Several reports have suggested that the Jets would be targeting a wide receiver, but Manish Mehta of the Daily News tweeted that the Jets were not targeting any specific position, though he mentioned OL, WR and front seven as as possibilities.
Though Mehta did not specifically mention running back or safety, I would not rule out the possibility of the Jets going in that direction.
Here are a few names I like for the Jets that are projected to go in rounds 2 or 3:
- Courtney Upshaw
- Andre Branch
- Vinny Curry
- Ronnell Lewis
- Cordy Glenn (OT/G)
- Bobby Massie (OT)
- Jonathan Martin (OT)
- Isaiah Pead
- Robert Turbin
- Lamar Miller
- LaMichael James
- Rueben Randle
- Mohamed Sanu
- Stephen Hill
- Alshon Jeffrey
- Brian Quick
- Trumaine Johnson, CB who could move to FS (Plus Rex loves his corners)
- George Iloka
- Markelle Martin
- Brandon Taylor
- Trenton Robinson