2014 DRAFT GUIDE
Optimism for Jets after drafting impact players

    2012-04-29 15:57

(Eds: Updates. With AP Photos.)
By DENNIS WASZAK Jr.
AP Sports Writer

NEW YORK (AP) - Rex Ryan wanted impact players out of the NFL draft, and the New York Jets coach thinks he got his wish.

So much so that Ryan already declared - although he later backed off - that big defensive lineman Quinton Coples and speedy wide receiver Stephen Hill will be starters for a team determined to get back to the playoffs.

``Yes,'' Ryan said without hesitation late Saturday night. ``How's that one?''

Well, it remains to be seen what the veterans will think of that bold and possibly premature statement. But Ryan's excitement is understandable.

After all, he and his team are coming off a disappointing season and a winter of uncertainty, and this was indeed an important draft for him, general manager Mike Tannenbaum and the rest of the organization. There were some serious holes in the roster heading into the draft and there's still work to be done, including possibly at right tackle and outside linebacker. But there's no doubt the Jets improved their overall team speed on both sides of the ball and added some aggressive and physical players - just as Ryan likes `em.

``We'll just keep adding good football players,'' Tannenbaum said. ``I do like what we got accomplished.''

New York split their eight picks evenly between offense - Hill, running back Terrance Ganaway and guard Robert T. Griffin, both sixth-rounders from Baylor, and wide receiver Jordan White (seventh) - and defense - Coples, inside linebacker Demario Davis (third), and safeties Josh Bush (sixth) and Antonio Allen (seventh).

Oh, and Tannenbaum joked that he also really likes his fourth-round pick. That's the draft selection, of course, that the Jets traded to the Denver Broncos, along with a sixth-rounder, to acquire backup quarterback Tim Tebow.

The Jets' offense will have a different look because of Tebow, who'll play a key role in running wildcat and option-style plays behind starter Mark Sanchez. But Tannenbaum brushed aside thoughts that New York brought in some guys on offense - Hill, Ganaway, Griffin - who are used to playing in a style suited to Tebow's skill set.

``That would just be a coincidence,'' Tannenbaum said.

The rule of thumb is that it takes three years to accurately assess draft picks, but the Jets hope at least a few in this year's group quickly get the arrow pointed up and keep it there.

It all starts with Coples, a 6-foot-5, 285-pound defensive lineman from North Carolina who has a knack for the sack and creating commotions up front. Although many fans at the draft's site at Radio City Music Hall were chanting for the Jets to take South Carolina's Melvin Ingram at No. 16 overall, Coples might be better suited for what Ryan wants to do. And that, of course, is to be the league's No. 1 defense.

``I'm going to just come in and make an impact as soon as I can,'' Coples said after being drafted. ``I'm going to come in as a rookie and work my way up.''

The Jets are loaded with depth on the defensive line, and that will allow Ryan to mix and match players at different spots. It could be Coples and Muhammad Wilkerson, the team's top pick last year, on the ends and Sione Pouha in the middle of the 3-4 base defense. Or, Ryan could rotate Coples with incumbent starter Mike DeVito, and mix in others such as Marcus Dixon, Ropati Pitoitua and Kenrick Ellis with a four-man front.

``We do have unusual depth right now,'' Ryan said. ``We have it set up where we can do a lot of things with that front. ... You want to have guys that are fresh to rush the quarterback in the fourth quarter. The more of these guys you get, the better it is for your team.''

Coples could knock DeVito out of the starting lineup, as Ryan said, but who starts might not matter much in this defense.

``When I say they're going to start, there's so many different roles,'' Ryan said. ``There's so many different things they're going to start on. There's sub-team, there's this team, there's all those different things. They're going to play significantly. Is it 100 percent that it's all 16 games? It really depends on what we're in.''

Davis is a hard-hitting tackling machine from Arkansas State who'll back up Bart Scott and likely replace him in the next season or two. Bush and Allen will provide depth at safety, where the Jets only had LaRon Landry and Eric Smith as players with any significant NFL experience. All three newcomers, plus White, should also boost the Jets' special teams unit - and coordinator Mike Westhoff surely had a big part in identifying them as dual-purpose players.

Ryan saying that Hill will come in and start is hardly a surprise. The Jets were in need of a field-stretching wide receiver who could take pressure off Santonio Holmes, and that's exactly what Hill can do. He played in a triple-option offense at Georgia Tech, but made the most of his catches by setting an NCAA record by averaging 55.2 yards on his nine touchdown grabs.

At 6-4 and 215 pounds, the Jets envision him as a potential Calvin Johnson-type player and he should beat out Chaz Schilens and Jeremy Kerley for the No. 2 job. He's also a ferocious blocker - perfect for New York's run-first offense. Throw in Ganaway, a 5-11, 240-pound bull of a back who'll team with big-bodied Shonn Greene, and Ryan's desire to have a true ``Ground-and-Pound'' approach appears to be set up nicely.

``I think we've complemented our team in a lot of ways,'' Tannenbaum said. ``With that said, whatever opportunities present themselves, we'll go ahead and there's guys who we're trying to sign now that will be great stories.''

Fantasy Football Player Notes RSS FeedPLAYER NOTES

Lardarius WebbJul 29 10:45a

Baltimore Ravens CB Lardarius Webb (back) missed his third straight day of practice Monday, July 28, and will undergo further testing to determine the extent of the injury, according [ More ]

Jairus ByrdJul 29 10:43a

New Orleans Saints FS Jairus Byrd (back) was activated from the Physically Unable to Perform list.

Alfonso SmithJul 29 10:43a

The San Francisco 49ers signed free-agent RB Alfonso Smith (Cardinals) to an undisclosed deal and waived/injured OT Fou Fonoti (undisclosed).

Eric WinstonJul 29 10:43a

The Seattle Seahawks signed free-agent OT Eric Winston (Cardinals) to a one-year deal.

Kelvin BenjaminJul 29 10:40a

Carolina Panthers WR Kelvin Benjamin (knee) doesn't have a timetable for his return after bruising his left knee, but he is expected to be back in days, not weeks. [ More ]

Josh ThomasJul 29 10:03a

Carolina Panthers CB Josh Thomas (undisclosed) was activated from the Non-Football Injury list and is practicing Tuesday, July 29.

Chris IvoryJul 29 09:53a

New York Jets RB Chris Ivory is likely to be the team's goal line back, according to running backs coach Anthony Lynn.

D'Aundre ReedJul 29 08:53a

The Miami Dolphins signed free-agent TE Brett Brackett (Cardinals), undrafted free-agent QB Seth Lobato (Northern Colorado) and DE D'Aundre Reed. QB Brock Jensen was waived and OG Davonte Wallace (undisclosed) was waived/injured.

Ricky SappJul 29 08:43a

The Houston Texans signed free-agent RB Tim Cornett (Cardinals) and OT Mike Farrell (Broncos) to undisclosed deals. LB Ricky Sapp was waived.

Alan BonnerJul 29 02:23a

Houston Texans WR Alan Bonner (foot) was placed on the Texans' Reserve/Injured list after clearing waivers Monday, July 28.

Brandon JenkinsJul 29 02:13a

OG James Dunbar (Bears), OT Anthony Dima (Texans), OT Jack Breckner (Colts) and LB Brandon Jenkins (Redskins) all cleared waivers Monday, July 28, and are free to sign with any team.

Menelik WatsonJul 29 01:43a

Oakland Raiders OT Menelik Watson is slated to start at right tackle. The coaching staff has confidence in his ability after what was largely viewed as a disappointing 2013 [ More ]

Jimmy ClausenJul 29 12:22a

Chicago Bears QB Jimmy Clausen was accurate with his throws during practice Monday, July 28, and he led a touchdown drive during a two-minute drill. Larry Mayer of ChicagoBears.com [ More ]

Jordan ZumwaltJul 28 11:43p

Pittsburgh Steelers LB Jordan Zumwalt (groin) left practice early Monday, July 28, and WR C.J. Goodwin (shoulder) was held out of drills during practice.

Rod StreaterJul 28 11:33p

Oakland Raiders WR Rod Streater (concussion) is dealing with a concussion, head coach Dennis Allen confirmed Monday, July 28.

Odell Beckham Jr.Jul 28 11:33p

Updating a previous report, New York Giants WR Odell Beckham Jr. (hamstring) is expected to be sidelined at least another week due to his hamstring injury. Beckham was originally [ More ]

Marcus LattimoreJul 28 11:33p

San Francisco 49ers RB Marcus Lattimore (knee) has not been cleared to practice yet due to lingering concerns about his surgically repaired right knee. However, he appears close to joining his teammates.

Chris CantyJul 28 11:33p

Baltimore Ravens DE Chris Canty (family issue) missed practice Monday, July 28. OG Will Rackley (head) and OT Parker Graham (groin) also missed practice.

Alfonso SmithJul 28 11:33p

The San Francisco 49ers are expected to announce the signing of free-agent RB Alfonso Smith (Cardinals) Tuesday, July 29. The team needs healthy reinforcements with RBs Kendall Hunter (knee) [ More ]

Juron CrinerJul 28 11:33p

Oakland Raiders WR Juron Criner (hamstring) has been sidelined from practice due to a hamstring injury, head coach Dennis Allen confirmed Monday, July 28.

Gavin EscobarJul 28 11:23p

Dallas Cowboys TE Gavin Escobar has often lined up out wide during training camp, and offensive play-caller Scott Linehan is experimenting with different ways to get him involved in the offense.

Roy MillerJul 28 10:52p

Jacksonville Jaguars DT Roy Miller (shoulder) returned to practice Monday, July 28, after being given the day off Sunday, July 27, to rest his shoulder that he had surgery on in the offseason.

Cyrus KouandjioJul 28 10:43p

Buffalo Bills OT Cyrus Kouandjio has struggled in training camp, and Joe Buscaglia of 550 Sports Radio believes that OT Erik Pears is now the frontrunner for the starting RT job.

Mario ManninghamJul 28 10:42p

New York Giants WR Mario Manningham (knee) said he is still not 100 percent confident in his surgically repaired knee. 'I'm working on it,' he said of overcoming that [ More ]

John AbrahamJul 28 10:23p

Arizona Cardinals DE John Abraham was detained, questioned and later charged with multiple counts, including DUI, on Sunday, June 29, according to arrest reports in DeKalb County. Abraham missed [ More ]

Anthony DixonJul 28 10:12p

Buffalo Bills RB Anthony Dixon was listed as the No. 3 back on the team's first official depth chart with RB Bryce Brown listed as the No. 4 back.

Scott ChandlerJul 28 10:12p

Buffalo Bills FS Kenny Ladler (hamstring), TE Scott Chandler (groin), TE Tony Moeaki (hamstring) and TE Chris Gragg (cramps) were held out of practice Monday, July 28.

Joe HawleyJul 28 10:02p

Atlanta Falcons C Joe Hawley and C Peter Konz have both been taking reps with the first-team this offseason.

Odell Beckham Jr.Jul 28 09:53p

New York Giants WR Odell Beckham Jr. (hamstring) had tests on his injured hamstring Monday, July 28, and the results were negative, according to two sources briefed on the injury.

Danny AmendolaJul 28 09:43p

New England Patriots WR Danny Amendola has spent the offseason working with trainer Alex Guerrero. Guerrero is also QB Tom Brady's trainer, and he helped WR Julian Edelman prior to last season.

Marlon MooreJul 28 08:42p

The Cleveland Browns signed WR Marlon Moore (Dolphins) Monday, July 28.

Clay HarborJul 28 08:32p

Jacksonville Jaguars TE Clay Harbor (calf) will miss some time with a strained calf, according to John Oehser of Jaguars.com.

RSS Feeds

NFL News:
 
Player Notes:
 
Forum Posts:
 

© 2014 RealTime Fantasy Sports, Inc.
Email Us  ·  Call Us 636.447.1170  ·  Lost Password
Advertising represented by USA Today Sports Media Group