Revisiting the Coples vs. Ingram debate

April, 30, 2012
4/30/12
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The New York Jets had an unexpected luxury Thursday night when former North Carolina defensive end Quinton Coples and former South Carolina defensive end Melvin Ingram were both on the board at No. 16. Most expected to the Jets to take Ingram, who appeared to be a great fit in Jets coach Rex Ryan's 3-4 defense.

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But New York took Coples instead. He has a ton of natural ability but questions about his motor. The San Diego Chargers happily took Ingram two picks later, and the development of both players will be something to keep an eye on.

Did the Jets make the right choice? ESPN draft expert Mel Kiper Jr. weighed in Insider:
"The Jets surprised me when they went with Quinton Coples over Melvin Ingram in Round 1. To be blunt, I just think Ingram is the superior player -- and I have outside linebacker as New York's top need. Coples is a more natural fit as a 4-3 defensive end, and the obvious conclusion is Rex Ryan intends to move him inside. Still, I don't see him as a significant help in a need area -- the pass rush."

The Coples-Ingram debate will linger in New York for the next few years. Coples should have a chip on his shoulder to prove he was the right choice for the Jets over Ingram.

James Walker | email

ESPN Miami Dolphins reporter

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