The Inside Scoop:
Put simply, Quinton Couples is as naturally gifted an athlete as the 2012 draft class has to offer. The former University of North Carolina standout possesses tremendous potential at the next level . However, Coples work ethic and character issues have brought into question his desire and motivation to eventually rise to elite status. In his junior season, Coples was a first team All-ACC selection after recording 59 tackles and 10 sacks. Coples senior season was a bit of a disappointment after he tallied 55 tackles and 7.5 sacks with his production slipping in virtually every statistical category. NFL front offices had Coples on their radar well in advance of the 2012 draft, but concerns over his coachability contributed to the defensive end falling into the Jets lap at No. 16.
If any coach can maximize Coples' talents it's Jets head man Rex Ryan. The Jets have now drafted defensive ends in back-to-back drafts as University of Temple's Muhammed Wilkerson was the team's first-round selection last year. New York's defensive line has lacked the explosiveness to generate a consistent pass rush over the past few seasons. It's Ryan's hope that the combination of Coples and Wilkerson, former teammates at Hargrove Military Academy in Chatham, Virginia, will wreak havoc on opposing offensive lines. Coples is an adept tackler and his power bull-rush will work seamlessly in Ryan's 3-4 defensive scheme.
The Grade: A-
Despite Coples lackluster senior season, the Jets front office decided to roll the dice on the 6-foot-4, 285 pound pass rushing extraordinaire. New York will look to harness Coples power and athleticism in order to make him an impact player in 2012.