New York Jets: Report Card Grades for Every Rookie so Far in Camp
The New York Jets are two weeks into training camp and just days away from their first preseason game, so now is as good a time as any to take stock of the development of the team's rookies.
It's been a positive overall camp for the 2012 rookie class, as players such as Stephen Hill and Demario Davis have stood out as expected, and Antonio Allen looks like he could be a late-round steal.
First-round pick Quinton Coples hasn't really made an impact yet, but there haven't been many negative reports around him, either.
This slideshow takes an in-depth look at each rookie from the Jets' 2012 draft class and grades their progress thus far in camp.
Quinton Coples: C
Sometimes they say that no news is good news.
Hopefully for Jets fans, that saying rings true for first-round pick Quinton Coples.
There haven't been any negative reports about Coples during training camp by any means, but there hasn't been any positive news, either.
It's been one of the quietest training camps for a New York Jets first-round pick in some time.
The only news to come out of camp so far around Coples is that his responsibilities were being scaled back from what he was originally assigned in an effort to relieve some of the pressure he may be feeling.
Although the team hasn't said so specifically, it seems Coples is a little overwhelmed with the new responsibilities given to him.
It's not the end of the world for him by any means. Muhammad Wilkerson underwent the same thing last year, and he ended up just fine.
However, "just fine" wasn't what the Jets were expecting when they made Coples their top pick.
What might be complicating the situation is that Melvin Ingram, a defensive end many Jets fans wanted in the draft, is already earning rave reviews in San Diego and Bruce Irvin, a pass-rusher Seattle took a chance on, has been great for the Seahawks as well.
All of this means nothing right now, as even Vernon Gholston impressed in training camp at times. However, Jets fans would much rather hear "Quinton Coples is practically unblockable," rather than "We're scaling back the workload for Quinton Coples."
Coples did have two sacks on Tim Tebow in practice Aug. 6, so hopefully that is a sign he's starting to make progress.
Stephen Hill: A-
While Quinton Coples has had problems making an impact on the New York Jets, Stephen Hill has had no such issues.
On the first play of live action the opening day of training camp, Hill caught a 40-yard pass over Darrelle Revis and hasn't looked back from there. He has hooked up frequently with Mark Sanchez and seems to be developing a great rapport as a legitimate deep threat.
Hill is greatly benefiting from working against Revis and Antonio Cromartie in practice every day, as the two star cornerbacks have taken on a mentoring role with the rookie.
"The route running is still coming. I'm not even going to say I'm perfect on it," Hill said. "I'm still working and still learning on it. Revis and Cromartie are actually helping me on it, because they're noticing I do certain things [to tip them off]." (h/t James Walker/ESPN New York)
Hill also showed that he has no qualms about taking Revis out when he has blocking duty, either.
Hill still has a long way to go in his development, but all the signs seem to be there that he could be a force in the NFL. His physical ability was never in question, and he has shown a more polished skill set than was expected of him as a rookie coming out of a college offense that barely used the forward pass.
On Aug. 6, it was business as usual for Hill, as he caught a 50-yard touchdown from Sanchez over Revis. With all the injuries that have hit the Jets receiving corps, Hill has done well just to stay on the field.
The promise is there for him, but according to Walker, Hill has a tendency to disappear at times. Once the consistency comes—and there's no reason to think it won't—Hill has some serious upside.
Demario Davis: A-
Demario Davis missed the first handful of practices with a minor hamstring injury, but to nobody's surprise, he hit the ground running the second he was cleared to play.
Since he was drafted, marks have been high on Davis, who seems to have a motor unlike anyone outside of Aaron Maybin.
Last year, one of the Jets' biggest problems was an aging and plodding linebacker corps. That shouldn't be the case anymore, especially when Davis and Maybin are on the field together.
Unlike fellow early-round draft picks Quinton Coples and Stephen Hill, Davis wasn't anointed a starter right from the beginning. However, depending on the formation being used, Davis could work his way into the lineup very quickly.
Davis has been outstanding so far, registering multiple sacks in live action, and is in a battle with Maybin to see who is the most vocal player on the defense.
If David Harris keeps up his strong play, and Davis and Maybin are able to translate their camp success into regular-season play, that would make for a fearsome linebacking unit.
Josh Bush: B-
Things have been relatively quiet around Josh Bush, but there was one bit of news that came out last week that was very encouraging for him:
The team released safety Tracy Wilson.
Wilson was a safety who played in five games last season, and is someone familiar to Rex Ryan and Mike Pettine. The fact that a trusted player like Wilson was let go speaks volumes about what the coaching staff must think of Bush and fellow rookie Antonio Allen.
Bush hasn't done anything to make people think he is going to earn a starting nod just yet, but he has to have been at least adequate so far.
Bush figures to bide his time on special teams while always remaining in the back of Ryan's mind in sub packages.
Terrance Ganaway: F
If there's one rookie from the Jets' 2012 draft class who has been an outright disappointment, it's been Terrance Ganaway.
Although he wasn't a high draft pick, there were some hopes that Ganaway could establish himself as a late-round steal. After two weeks of training camp, that simply hasn't been the case.
Ganaway didn't stand out during OTAs and has continued to struggle in training camp.
After he was drafted, it appeared that Ganaway actually had a legitimate shot at supplanting Bilal Powell as the team's No. 3 back. However, with Ganaway's struggles and Powell's sudden boom in production, Ganaway isn't even a lock to make the squad.
The fact that Ganaway has struggled so much is a big disappointment. At 6'1" and 240 pounds, he has great size and ran with tremendous heart at Baylor. It seemed that he could be the perfect back to pound away at defenses as the Jets re-established their run game.
To make matters worse, Ganaway was one of the players Rex Ryan singled out on Aug. 7 as a player who initiated one of the scuffles the team was chastised for, according to Rich Cimini.
"I saw a young rookie (Terrance Ganaway) run through a guy in a 'thud' period. That's not what you're looking for. That's not being physical. That, to me, is being selfish. I told guys about it and, sure enough, apparently somebody didn't get the message," said Ryan.
Shonn Greene, Joe McKnight, John Connor and Powell are locks to make the Jets roster. Ganaway still remains the fifth running back in that equation, and his spot on the roster will depend on whether the Jets want to carry four or five running backs.
On the plus side, the Jets waived fullback Fui Vakapuna and have been giving Ganaway reps at fullback and tailback. Any versatility he shows will help his case.
Ganaway will still get his shot in the preseason games and must show some of the toughness he displayed at Baylor.
Robert Griffin: C-
Unlike Terrance Ganaway, Robert Griffin came to the Jets from Baylor with little expectations for an impact in 2012.
The Jets saw the massive lineman as a 6'6", 330-pound monster who could develop into a strong lineman sometime in the future.
Griffin has been just what the Jets expected so far. He has shown promise as a run-blocker, but he needs to increase his quickness and tighten up his technique in his overall game.
When the Jets played their annual Green and White scrimmage last week, they were without linemen Nick Mangold, Wayne Hunter and Brandon Moore. That caused the team to shuffle the line and use a rotation of players to fill the gaps.
Griffin wasn't one of the first options to fill any of those gaps.
By all accounts, Griffin is a hard worker who is doing his best to learn the playbook and work with this new level of coaching.
In an article by John Holt on newyorkjets.com, Griffin admitted that the playbook is a lot more complex than Baylor's and that he has struggled at times. However, he does seem to be fitting in well with his team.
In the same article, Mark Sanchez praised Griffin as a hard worker who doesn't get discouraged at his mistakes. Sanchez went on to say that they are proud of Griffin as a player.
Earning your teammates' respect as a rookie isn't something that comes easy. Griffin seems to have done that, at least. He still looks like he's ticketed for the practice squad with the hopes that he continues to develop.
Antonio Allen: A+
Rookie or not, Antonio Allen has been one of the most surprising players in New York Jets camp thus far.
From the time he was drafted in the seventh round, the Jets have been vocal in saying they were lucky to land someone who supposedly had fifth-round value so late. Allen was known at South Carolina as a safety who played like a linebacker. His run-stopping ability was unquestioned, but there were great concerns about his ability in coverage.
From the looks of things, Allen was a very similar player to LaRon Landry and Yeremiah Bell, but lacked the experience either of those two safeties have.
However, from the second camp hit, Allen has shown to be an opportunistic player in the secondary.
During the first week of workouts, Allen intercepted numerous passes and seemed to open eyes every day. When it came time to prove himself in the team's Green and White scrimmage on Aug. 4, Allen didn't disappoint.
According to ESPN New York's Rich Cimini, Allen was one of four players Rex Ryan singled out as those who impressed him in the scrimmage.
Drawing praise from Ryan is a big deal this season, as the head coach has made good on his promise of scaling back the praise and predictions from years' past.
Jordan White: INC
Jordan White's timing couldn't have been more perfect.
Just as the wide receiving corps was being hit by a plague of injuries and Rex Ryan was expressing his disappointment in Jeremy Kerley, White was coming off the PUP list, eager to prove his mettle.
White has recovered from a broken foot well enough to participate in full practices with the team. He gets an "incomplete" grade here because he hasn't been a part of training camp long enough to garner a grade, but he seems to have a greater opportunity to contribute than first thought. He practiced in full pads for the first time on Aug. 3.
Before breaking his foot, White was looked at as a possible practice squad player in a crowded field at wide receiver. However, thanks to the injuries and Kerley's lackluster camp, the opportunity is now there for White.
It's just up to him to seize it.
Like the new article format? Send us feedback!