Commentary

Grading the Jets' 2012 draft

It's never too early to give you our take on who's new in Gang Green

Originally Published: April 26, 2012
By Rich Cimini | ESPNNewYork.com


Quinton Coples, DE, North Carolina
Round 1, 16th pick

Analysis: This pick raises many questions. Based on his size and athleticism, Coples should've been a top-10 pick, but he dropped because of a disappointing senior year and concerns about his work ethic and motivation. Add to that a position change. After playing defensive end in a 4-3 scheme, he'll be the left end in the Jets' 3-4 front -- a blue-collar, two-gapping position that doesn't provide many sack opportunities. Clearly, the Jets were seduced by his scary athleticism. When Coples wants to play, he can resemble Julius Peppers. It'll be up to Rex Ryan and Mike Pettine to keep the fire lit under him. This could turn out to be a great pick or he could be an underachiever.

Stephen Hill, WR, North Carolina
Round 2, 43rd pick

Analysis:The Jets think so much of Hill they gave up two picks (fifth- and seventh rounders) to move up four spots, swapping spots with the Seahawks. Much like first-round DE Quinton Coples, Hill is a size-speed pick, but his upside is impossible to ignore. His 40 time at the combine was 4.31 seconds, grabbing the attention of the entire league. He averaged 29.3 yards per catch last season. The Jets wanted a big, fast target to play opposite Santonio Holmes, and they got the biggest and the fastest. He's also a physical blocker. But there are concerns. Because he played in a triple-option offense, his route running and coverage recognition need a lot of work. He caught only 49 passes in his career, dropping a few too many. There's risk here, but Hill's ceiling is very high.

Demario Davis, LB, Arkansas State
Round 3, 77th pick

Analysis:This was a head scratcher on many levels. Davis, a 4-3 outside linebacker in college, will have to make the transition to inside in the Jets' 3-4 front -- and he's undersized for the position -- 6-foot-2, 235 pounds. What's more, it wasn't an area of great need. They had more pressing needs at offensive tackle and safety, but they reached for a small-school player who probably will contribute only on special teams as a rookie. Clearly, this pick was made with the future in mind. If he's up to it, he will replace Bart Scott in 2013. For now, it's hard to imagine him seeing much time on defense. He runs well (4.53 in the 40). If he can play in space and cover tight ends, he'll have a chance to crack the sub packages.

Josh Bush, FS, Wake Forest
Round 6, 187th pick

Analysis: Who? Bush didn't generate any pre-draft buzz, probably because he wasn't invited to the scouting combine and participated in only one minor all-star game. His selling points are speed and coverage ability. He ran a 4.51 at his pro day and he recorded six interceptions last season in his first year as a full-time safety. He's only 5-foot-11, 205 pounds, but the Jets were willing to sacrifice size for speed. We all know they need more speed at safety, but they bypassed more accomplished players to reach for the unheralded Bush.

Terrance Ganaway, RB, Baylor
Round 6, 202nd pick

Analysis: Well, he's not Trent Richardson, but who is? Ganaway is a bigger version of Shonn Greene, a power back. He's coming off a monster senior year -- 1,547 yards and 21 touchdowns. Greene doesn't have to worry about his starting job, but Bilal Powell -- a fourth-round pick last year -- will be pushed by Ganaway. The Ganaway selection confirms the Jets' desire to revert to their Ground-and-Pound offense. He isn't going to run away from too many defenders, but he can pound the rock. Maybe he can emerge as a short-yardage back. A shoulder injury, which kept him out of the scouting combine, bears watching. Overall, this is a solid value.

Robert T. Griffin, OG, Baylor
Round 6, 203rd pick

Analysis: Everybody thought they'd draft a tackle, but they went for a guard. This is what you call a depth/future pick. With starters Brandon Moore and Matt Slauson heading into the final year of their contracts, the Jets needed to start thinking about the future. Griffin is a massive space eater who plays with a chip on his shoulder. Once again, this was a Ground-and-Pound pick. The Jets want to get more physical on offense, and it helps to have big fellas up front. Griffin is big enough to block the run. Another solid value in the sixth round.

Antonio Allen, S, South Carolina
Round 7, 35th pick, 242 overall

Analysis: Rex Ryan said he was "a little shocked" that Allen dropped this far. So were a lot of people. He was a productive, in-the-box safety in college, making big hits and causing fumbles. He was "almost unblockable" against Auburn, according to Ryan. Clearly, Allen slipped because of his perceived limitations in coverage. This was a terrific pick for the Jets, who can use Allen behind LaRon Landry at strong safety. He was worth the pick for his special-teams value alone.

Jordan White, WR, Western Michigan
Round 7, 37th pick, 244 overall

Analysis: White's stats jump off the page  140 catches for 1,911 and 17 touchdowns. That's from last season, not his career stats. Playing in a pass-happy offense, he dominated the MAC, but the NFL is going to be a tough transition for him. White ran only 4.69 at the combine, meaning will have trouble separating against NFL cornerbacks. He'll probably have to play the slot. He also major durability questions (two season-ending knee operations) and doesn't have experience returning kickoffs. Still, this was a worthwhile flyer, based on his ridiculous numbers in college.


Rich Cimini

ESPN New York Jets reporter

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