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NFL Draft 2012: Why Do the New York Jets Love Reaching for Damaged Goods?

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NFL Draft 2012: Why Do the New York Jets Love Reaching for Damaged Goods?
Joe Robbins/Getty Images
Quinton Coples

Top-5 talent, but lacks effort.

Elite player with attitude problems.

Massive upside, but needs motivation.

Sound familiar? It should if you're a fan of the New York Jets.

In recent years, the Jets have made it their business to reach for players with huge potential coupled with obstacles to getting to that elite talent. The trend continued last night with the drafting of Quinton Coples.

Coples, a potential top-5 pick coming into his senior year at North Carolina, saw his stock fall after a drop-off in stats from his junior to senior season. After this, questions of his lack of effort surfaced, with many scouts pointing to lack of hustle on some plays. This means the Jets will have to work extra with Coples to make sure his effort remains constant throughout the year. 

We all know the Jets don't mind taking on players—either through free agency or through the draft—who have a little baggage; their track record speaks for itself.

Braylon Edwards' DWI, Santonio Holmes and Shaun Ellis' drug issues, Antonio Cromartie's double-digit offspring with eight different women, and Kenrick Ellis' felony assault charge are just a few of the concerns the Jets have proved themselves willing to overlook.

The question that needs to be asked is: Why?

Why do the Jets feel the need to pick up and draft knowingly inconsistent or troubled players in the attempt to turn them around?

Does Rex Ryan secretly have a desire to be a psychiatrist?

Do the Jets want to ink a 10-year deal for Hard Knocks?

There were two players, Courtney Upshaw from Alabama and Melvin Ingram from South Carolina, still available with none of these character questions. Why take the guy who is lacking motivation? The Jets need to stop making the flashy picks, trades and signings that they think will get people into the seats at MetLife Stadium and pick players that have honest, consistent talent that will result in wins.

That's how you get people into the seats... by winning.

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