The eighth installment of our ten part series examining the last ten New York Jets drafts, with a look at 2012…
1st Round, 16th overall pick — Quinton Coples, DE, UNC
Coples was drafted by Rex Ryan to be the dominant edge rusher that the Jet defense lacked. By the numbers, Coples had a decent rookie season with 5.5 sacks, but the numbers do not tell the whole story. There was cause for concern as he seemingly took plays off and was inconsistent throughout the entire season. Coples did not show many, if any, signs of improvement in his second season — his sack total dropped to 4.5 and he was the same inconsistent player he was in 2012. While he did work his sack total up to 6.5 in 2014, not much changed as far as his consistency, or lack of it.
The jury is still out on Coples in my mind. He has shown flashes of being a dominant pass rusher, but at the same time, he’ll disappear for five or six plays in a row. He’ll have another chance to prove himself this season in a new defense with a new coach, but with plenty of edge rushers available in this draft, Mike Maccagnan may want to explore possible replacements.
2nd Round, 43rd overall pick — Stephen Hill, WR, Georgia Tech
Stephen Hill was a classic case of an athletic, physical freak who was over drafted and flopped. He only had 28 catches for 820 yards and 5 TDs in his junior season at Georgia Tech, but he ran a 4.36 40-yard dash at 6’4″ 215-pounds. He was projected in many mocks to be drafted in the 1st round, but fell to the 2nd where the Jets made a trade with the Seahawks to move up and draft him (Seattle drafted All-Pro linebacker Bobby Wagner with the Jets’ pick in case you were wondering).
Hill struggled with his route running and when he seemed to be open would have more drops than he receptions. He was given two seasons to prove himself, but he only recorded 594 yards on 45 catches for 4 TDs. His lack of production and nagging injuries ultimately led to his release prior to last season. The fact that no team claimed him and he ended up on the Panthers’ practice squad — a team with a very depleted receiving corps — is a testament to the bust that he was.
3rd Round, 77th overall pick — Demario Davis, LB, Arkansas St.
After a 1st round pick that hasn’t really panned out and a 2nd round pick that was a bust, Demario Davis was a nice find in the 3rd round. He was a very consistent player at Arkansas St., and some “experts” believed he would have been a 1st round pick if he went to a more recognizable school.
He didn’t play much in his rookie season, only recording 31 tackles, but he earned a starting role in 2013 and made the most of it. He was seemingly involved in every play, recording 107 tackles, and he improved upon that number in 2014 with 116 tackles. The main thing he needs to work on is coverage — he is good against the run and swarming to the ball, but he still gets beat more than an athlete of his caliber should in the passing game.
7th Round, 242nd overall pick — Antonio Allen, DB, South Carolina
Antonio Allen was a nice find for a 7th round pick. He is a versatile, athletic safety who can make plays and cover well from the safety position. I say “from the safety position” because the little experiment where he played CB last year didn’t work out so well, but he has been a productive safety that will add depth to a very strong Jets secondary.
Rest of the Draft
6th Round, 202nd overall pick — Terrance Ganaway, RB, Baylor
6th Round, 203rd overall pick — Robert Griffin, OL, Baylor
7th Round, 244th overall pick — Jordan White, WR, Central Michigan