PLAYER: Quinton Coples
SCHOOL: North Carolina
WEIGHT: 284 pounds
What it means: This is a boom-or-bust pick by the Jets. Coples is a fantastic athlete with prototypical size for a 4-3 defensive end, but there are questions about his work ethic and passion for the game. Many scouts feel he coasted through last season, finishing with only 7.5 sacks after 10 in 2010. The Jets acknowledge that Coples' performance slipped. He redeemed himself somewhat at the Senior Bowl. Rex Ryan attended Coples' pro day and personally tested him in drills.
How he fits in the defensive scheme: Coples has prototypical size for a 4-3 defensive end, but the Jets play a 3-4 front. Does he have the agility to stand up as an outside linebacker in their base front? That's a key question. Coples said he was told by Ryan in his recent visit to the Jets that they plan to use him all over the scheme, presumably at end, outside 'backer and tackle.
UPDATE: Ryan, speaking at a news conference after the pick, said the plan is to make Coples their left defensive end. They have no intention of making him a linebacker. On passing downs, he will slide inside as a pass rusher.
Projected impact: The Jets needed an outside pass rusher in the worst way, so Coples fills a need. He was the second pass rusher off the board, behind Bruce Irvin -- the Seahawks' stunning pick 1t 15. Coples will contribute immediately as a situational rusher, lining up with Aaron Maybin as bookend rushers. How fast he acclimates to the base defense remains to be seen. The pressure will be on coordinator Mike Pettine and new DL coach Karl Dunbar to keep him motivated.