Former University of North Carolina defensive end Quinton Coples caught the apple of Rex Ryan's eye at the NFL's scouting combine. While he was on the Jets draft radar in the months leading up to the draft, the Tarheel standout all but secured his spot with Gang Green after his superb combine performance. As powerful and agile as athletes come, Coples is the poster boy for the Jets ‘One Step Faster' offseason initiative.
During Ryan's first three seasons with the Green-and-White, he never had the luxury of a defensive lineman capable of drawing double teams from opponents. Flash forward to the 2012 season and Coples could very well evolve into a disruptive force along New York's defensive front.
With doubt and cynicism surrounding the Jets selection of Coples with their first-round pick, Gang Green's newest edge pass-rusher will likely play with a chip on his shoulder to silence his critics. Under the tutelage of Ryan and defensive coordinator Mike Pettine, Coples will shine during his rookie campaign making his mark on the NFL from the get-go.
Coples will leave little doubt in the minds of many that he is deserving of a Top 20 draft selection. As the Jets embark on their 2012 campaign they will face early challenges with home games against the San Francisco 49ers and Houston Texans along with road contests opposing the Pittsburgh Steelers and New England Patriots highlighting their first-half regular season schedule.
The young buck has the opportunity to make an outstanding first impression in front of the Metlife Stadium crowd during New York's home opener against the Buffalo Bills. In spite of uncertainty about his coachability drive and to succeed, Coples will prove that the stage is not too grand and will have the greatest city in the world in the palm of his hand.
TACKLES: 61 SACKS: 7.0
FORCED FUMBLES: 3 FUMBLES RECOVERED: 1
INTS: 0 TDS: 1