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2012 NFL Draft: Analyzing Quinton Coples to the New York Jets

NEW YORK, NY - APRIL 26:  Quinton Coples of North Carolina holds up a jersey as he stands on stage after he was selected #16 overall by the New York Jets in the first round of the 2012 NFL Draft at Radio City Music Hall on April 26, 2012 in New York City.  (Photo by Al Bello/Getty Images)
Al Bello/Getty Images
Nick CarloAnalyst IIMay 1, 2012

The New York Jets suffered from a disappointing season last year. The team capped off the season with a lackluster 8-8 record and failed to make the playoffs for the first time since 2008. The New York Jets failed to meet their expectations, and the team was in need of a change or two.

Without going into the Tim Tebow drama, the New York Jets have changed quite a bit. New York had their eyes set on the draft, and they tried to cash in when the time came. The Jets held the 16th overall pick in this year's draft, and they selected Quinton Coples, a defensive end out of the University of North Carolina.

This was a questionable pick for the Jets, and it received a mixed reaction from the Jets fans in attendance for the draft. Many draft analysts said that Coples' problem is his supposed lack of effort from time to time. His dedication to the game is routinely questioned, and his motor has also been criticized. 

It has been said that Coples has been known to take some plays off and go into "cruise control." Former head coach and current ESPN analyst Jon Gruden had this to say about Coples; "He gets blocked, and stays blocked."

If true, that could turn out to be a scary thing for the Jets. New York would hate to believe that they invested their first-round pick on a possible bust. But let's be honest, every single player has bust potential, albeit some are safer picks than others.

With that said, Coples definitely has the potential to become a force in the NFL. Coples is a freak of nature at 6'6" tall and 284 pounds. Couple that size with his speed (4.7 40) and his immense power, and he has all the tools to be an effective defensive force in the Jets defense.

It won't be easy to make this pick work out, but it is definitely possible. The reward is huge, and he has Pro-Bowl potential. Coples has one of the highest ceilings in the draft, to go along with his very large bust potential.

This pick defines a boom or bust selection, but Coples' potential is hard to look past. Coples can either be the next Julius Peppers or the next Vernon Gholston. He is an all-or-nothing player, and it will be exciting to watch how he develops. 

The Jets have had one of the top defenses in recent memory. Much of that success should be credited to the Jets head coach, Rex Ryan. Ryan might run his mouth a bit too much, but there is no denying that he is a defensive mastermind.

Some scouts have even gone so far to say that Ryan's defense is a perfect fit for Quinton Coples. Coples played defensive tackle with UNC until his senior season. He was moved to defensive end last season, and he produced sub-par results.

Coples still managed to rack up 7.5 sacks last season, despite a down year. Coples has went through four different defensive coordinators in his time with UNC. The university also had to deal with a slew of suspensions to their top players, due to allegations of illegal payments to players.

Coples was investigated on that issue, but he was eventually cleared of any wrongdoing. Coples had to concentrate on school and football throughout all of this. His head coach Butch Davis was fired last year due to the gray clouds surrounding the program.

Coples had to deal with a large amount of adversity, but he did not let up. Many of his teammates and coaching staff said that Coples took on a leader role last year. Coples was a senior last year, and he helped lead his team's defense. 

He was very vocal for his team—on the field and off. Coples might not have racked up the stats that he would have liked, but he did an awesome job handling all the controversy around him. 

Copels has the potential to be a leader and a very talented player with New York. If the Jets could light a fire under him, he could turn out to be one of the steals of the draft. Coples was once considered a Top 3 talent coming into this year's draft, but his stock obviously took a hit.

The Jets have realized Coples' potential, and they will now try their best to turn Coples into a beast. It will be all or nothing with him, but I like the Jets' chances to make Coples a force in the NFL. It is going to be great to hopefully watch Coples blossom into a fantastic player for the New York Jets.

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