Quinton Coples will be a BUST:
Quinton Coples: Will be a B.U.S.T??!!
BRUTALLY. UNUSUAL. SPECIAL. TALENT.
Heading into the 2012 NFL draft, the New York Jets had needs at multiple positions including a right tackle, a deep threat wide receiver, a safety, and finally, a pass rusher. In each of the past two seasons, the Jets leader in sacks has not been impressive for gang green; in 2010, Bryan Thomas led the team with six, and in 2011, Aaron Maybin, a situational pass rusher, also recorded six sacks to lead a team that is so blitz oriented, and known for its complex and creative defense.
So, when Jake Steinberg, the best Jets reporter in the business, tweeted fans asking who the Jets should take with the 16th pick the day before the draft, I made sure to respond to him right away.
That very next day on April 26th 2012, The New York Jets Selected Quinton Coples, defensive end out of the University of North Carolina. Following the pick, many NFL experts from all over the country were saying this could be another bust like Vernon Gholston was in 2008. Their main points included Coples having a decline in numbers his senior year, having an inconsistent motor, and also taking off plays and showing an uninspiring effort at times. While the 6 foot 5, 284 pound defensive end had SLIGHTLY declining numbers in 2011, the story behind his senior year is anything short of impressive.
Junior year stats 2010: 59 tackles, 15.5 tackles for loss, 10 sacks, 1 forced fumble, 2 batted passes
Senior year stats 2011: 55 tackles, 15 tackles for loss, 7.5 sacks, 3 forced fumbles, 1 fumble recovery, 2 batted passes
While Quinton Coples had hardly any less tackles and sacks his senior year, too many people forget the circumstances he played under. In 2010, 14 UNC players missed the opening game against LSU, while 7 players were forced to sit out the entire season. Why? UNC football players were found guilty of accepting impermissible gifts from sports agents, as well as having a “tutor” write their papers and participating in academic fraud. With future second round pick Marvin Austin suspended indefinitely, Coples was forced to play defensive tackle due to inadequate depth at the position. He thrived, and was rewarded with first-team All-ACC honors at the end of the season. When a player dominates the way he did, opposing teams take notice and you become a priority in their game plan.
Welcome the 2011 season, where Coples went back to where he belonged at defensive end. With the scandal at UNC still going on, along with a new head coach after Butch Davis was fired at the end of 2010, Quinton Coples dominated again, recording solid numbers and consistent pressure on the quarterback. The only difference is that he was DOUBLE TEAMED virtually every single play of every single game that year!! When someone is double teamed play after play and can remain ruthlessly active, you know he’s the real deal. Quinton Coples has the ideal size, tremendous strength and bull rush ability, stops the run extremely well, and is very gifted athletically. Think NFL defenses will be able to slow him down by double-teaming him? Think again.
The New York Jets’ top acquisition this offseason had nothing to do with someone who straps on a helmet ready to take the field. The organization brought in Karl Dunbar, arguably the best defensive line coach in the game today. Dunbar came over from the Minnesota Vikings, who tied for the league best in total team sacks last year, and led the league outright in 2009. The plan this season is to use a ton of 46 defenses, creating a lot of one-on-one matchups for the Jets’ defensive line. Coples will have the chance to silence his critics right away when he starts this season, and it doesn’t hurt to have second year player Mohammed Wilkerson opposite of him, along with Sione Pouha, Kenrick Ellis, and Mike Devito doing the dirty work inside.
The bottom line is that this kid doesn’t get nearly the amount of credit that he is due. He stayed away from the UNC scandal and drama on the football team, he was also found not guilty after being accused of receiving a free trip to a draft party (not true, he provided receipts showing he paid for it all on his own), all the while remaining double teamed and targeted his entire senior year. Coples played with a chip on his shoulder in the senior bowl game featuring the best college football players in the world. He terrorized the nations top offensive lineman, recording two tackles for a loss, one of which was a five-yard sack on Kellen Moore. The rookie defensive end will carry the same chip on a shoulder mentality into this season, and will prove to everyone why he should have never slipped to New York at the 16th pick in the draft. The last time the New York Jets had a double digit sack player was Jonathan Abraham in 2005 (10.5 sacks), but that can all change very soon, possibly even this year. Jets fans, we may have drafted the 2012 AP Defensive Rookie of the Year.