New York Jets head coach Rex Ryan admitted (via The New York Daily News) that he doesn't know what incumbent left end Mike DeVito's role will be heading into the 2012 season. On Thursday, the New York Jets selected North Carolina defensive end Quentin Coples with the 16th selection in the 2012 NFL draft—shocking fans and pundits as they passed on South Carolina rush linebacker Melvin Ingram and Stanford guard David DeCastro.
The Jets' selection of Coples marks back-to-back drafts selecting defensive linemen to play the five technique position in Rex Ryan's hybrid 3-4 defense. After the selection, Ryan brashly anointed Coples the Jets' new starting left end. Today, he backed off those remarks, but couldn't expound on DeVito's role in the Jets defense.
Mike DeVito is entering a contract season, though the Jets paid him a $500,000 roster bonus earlier this offseason. So does the former undrafted free agent out of Maine have a future with the New York Jets?
Some may not like it, but the writing is on the wall. Unless the Jets can move DeVito for a mid-round pick, the odds are the Jets are going to let DeVito play out his contract, test the open market and aim to receive a compensatory selection if they can't bring him back in a rotational role. There are plenty of teams playing a 3-4 defense who would pay in the $3 million to $4 million a year range for DeVito's services in run defense.
Coples has all the talent to be an outstanding 3-4 defensive end in the mold of Calais Campbell and has the pass-rushing upside to really help the Jets' defense and free up linebackers. But, this isn't a position he's played before, and his 2011 tape showed a player who took plays, drives and even entire games off. Can Rex Ryan instill the drive into Coples that will turn him into a great player? Or is this a disaster waiting to happen?
What's your take?