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Getting to Know DE Quinton Coples, the New York Jets’ First-Round Pick in the 2012 NFL Draft

By now, you know.

With the 16th pick of the 2012 NFL Draft, the New York Jets have selected Quinton Coples, a defensive end from the University of North Carolina.

In our Rant Sports 2012 NFL Mock Draft, Coples was the 9th overall pick by the Carolina Panthers, and truthfully, as a Jets fan, I never really expected to see Coples available by the time the Jets were on the clock.

At first glance, there’s a lot to like about the big 6’6, 285 lb lineman who Rex Ryan and the Jets fell in love with this spring, during their pre-draft player evaluations.

Recently, Coples was a subject on ESPN’s Sport Science, where he showed off some of his raw athleticism, including his incredible 81″ wingspan and nearly 35″ vertical leap.

Of course, there is risk with Coples, like any prospect. He dominated as a junior with the Tar Heels, but had a bit of a down year as a senior, drawing questions about his desire and work ethic.

However, the Jets have a pair of defensive line gurus in Rex Ryan and the newly hired Karl Dunbar, who have an outstanding track record of success when it comes to getting the most out of their players.

Even with every major pass rusher still on the board, including the likes of Melvin Ingram, Courtney Upshaw, Chandler Jones and Dont’a Hightower, the Jets believed Coples was the best player available at 16.

For more information about Quinton Coples, has a transcript of Coples’ first interview with the New York media, as well as comments from the Jets front office, which you can read here.

Coples will join a formidable Jets defensive line that already includes Sione Pouha, Mike DeVito, and 2011 first-round pick Muhammad Wilkerson.

The Jets believe Quinton Coples can be their next generation version of Shaun Ellis. They will use him him as a left defensive end and expect him to rush the passer from the inside out.

Bottom line, I’m no draft expert. I’m just a fan, like everyone else.

It’s impossible to know today what Coples can be as a player. I trust that if Rex Ryan and the Jets front office are sold on this kid, then that’s the guy I want to go to battle with, bottom line.


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