Optimism for Jets after drafting impact players

    2012-04-29 15:57

(Eds: Updates. With AP Photos.)
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

Andre EllingtonDec 1 02:23p

Arizona Cardinals RB Andre Ellington (toe) is dealing with turf toe and is considered day-to-day, although his status for Week 13 is in doubt.

Kyle WilliamsDec 1 12:53p

Buffalo Bills DT Kyle Williams (knee) was placed on the Reserve/Injured list Tuesday, Dec. 1.

B. RoethlisbergerDec 1 12:33p

Updating earlier reports, Pittsburgh Steelers QB Ben Roethlisberger (head) was told his diagnosis was 'traumatic ocular migraine,' while head coach Mike Tomlin said Roethlisberger has a concussion.

Josh McCownDec 1 12:33p

Updating earlier reports, Cleveland Browns QB Josh McCown (clavicle) possibly has a broken collarbone, which would likely end his season.

B. RoethlisbergerDec 1 12:23p

Updating a previous report, Pittsburgh Steelers QB Ben Roethlisberger (head) said he does not have a concussion and expects to practice Wednesday, Dec. 2, and play in Week 13 [ More ]

B. RoethlisbergerDec 1 12:23p

Updating an earlier report, Pittsburgh Steelers QB Ben Roethlisberger (concussion) has a concussion and is in the concussion protocol, according to head coach Mike Tomlin.

Josh McCownDec 1 12:13p

Cleveland Browns QB Josh McCown (clavicle) was in a sling after the Week 12 game against the Baltimore Ravens Monday, Nov. 30, and he will have more tests Tuesday, [ More ]

Zach ErtzDec 1 12:13p

Philadelphia Eagles TE Zach Ertz (concussion) was cleared to practice Tuesday, Dec. 1, or the first time since suffering a concussion Nov. 22.

Terrelle PryorDec 1 12:03p

Free-agent WR Terrelle Pryor (Browns) will re-sign with the Cleveland Browns Tuesday, Dec. 1.

Karlos WilliamsDec 1 11:03a

Buffalo Bills RB Karlos Williams (shoulder) is in the locker room wearing a sling on his arm Tuesday, Dec. 1.

Sam BradfordDec 1 10:33a

Philadelphia Eagles QB Sam Bradford (shoulder) will practice Tuesday, Dec. 1, which will serve as a big test to determine his status for Week 13 against the New England [ More ]

Chris JohnsonDec 1 09:53a

Updating previous reports, Arizona Cardinals RB Chris Johnson (leg) could be out six to eight weeks with a broken tibia, according to sources.

Case KeenumNov 30 07:53p

St. Louis Rams QB Case Keenum (concussion) is still being evaluated for a concussion but is likely to be on the practice field in some capacity Wednesday, Dec. 2, [ More ]

Tyler EifertNov 30 07:23p

Cincinnati Bengals TE Tyler Eifert (neck) underwent tests on his injured neck, but they did not show any structural damage. His status for the Week 13 game against the [ More ]

Marlon BrownNov 30 07:13p

The Baltimore Ravens have declared DT Carl Davis, CB Cassius Vaughn, OT Eugene Monroe, DL Kapron Lewis-Moore, OG Kelechi Osemele, WR Marlon Brown, CB Tray Walker inactive for Week 12.

Andrew HawkinsNov 30 07:13p

The Cleveland Browns have declared WR Andrew Hawkins, CB Don Jones, CB Joe Haden, OG Joel Bitonio, CB Pierre Desir, DL Randy Starks, WR Taylor Gabriel inactive for Week 12.

Chris JohnsonNov 30 06:33p

Arizona Cardinals RB Chris Johnson (leg) suffered a fractured tibia during the team's Week 12 game and will miss an extended period of time. The team is still waiting [ More ]

Chris HarperNov 30 06:33p

New England Patriots WR Chris Harper was released Monday, Nov. 30.

Jimmy GrahamNov 30 06:23p

Seattle Seahawks TE Jimmy Graham (knee) was placed on the Reserve/Injured list Monday, Nov. 30, and DT A.J. Francis was signed from the practice squad to the active roster [ More ]

Trey WilliamsNov 30 06:23p

Dallas Cowboys RB Trey Williams was waived Monday, Nov. 30.

Karlos WilliamsNov 30 06:13p

Buffalo Bills RB Karlos Williams' (shoulder) status for the Week 13 game against the Houston Texans is uncertain at this point. Williams suffered a shoulder injury during the team's Week 12 game.

Rishard MatthewsNov 30 05:13p

Updating a previous report, Miami Dolphins WR Rishard Matthews (ribs) suffered multiple fractured ribs in Week 12 against the New York Jets, according to sources. There is no timetable [ More ]

Andrew LuckNov 30 04:53p

Indianapolis Colts QB Andrew Luck (kidney) is still the Colts' starting quarterback and will be under center when he's 100% healthy, according to head coach Chuck Pagano.

Rob GronkowskiNov 30 04:53p

Updating an ongoing story, New England Patriots TE Rob Gronkowski (knee) is not expected to play in Week 13 against the Philadelphia Eagles, according to sources. Gronkowski is likely [ More ]

Peyton ManningNov 30 04:13p

Denver Broncos QB Peyton Manning (foot) will get his walking boot off at some point this week, but there is still not definitive timeline for his return. For now [ More ]

Rob GronkowskiNov 30 03:33p

New England Patriots TE Rob Gronkowski's (knee) MRI revealed that he suffered a knee strain in Week 12 against the Denver Broncos. He will miss a week at most.

Andre EllingtonNov 30 03:33p

Updating a previous report, Arizona Cardinals RB Andre Ellington (toe) suffered a turf toe injury in Week 12, but the severity is unknown at this time.

Rob GronkowskiNov 30 03:03p

Updating a previous report, New England Patriots TE Rob Gronkowski (knee) is week-to-week, and his knee injury is considered more of a bruise than a tear, according to sources.

Allen HurnsNov 30 01:33p

Jacksonville Jaguars WR Allen Hurns (concussion) is going through the concussion protocol but has not been ruled out for the Week 13 game against the Tennessee Titans.

Dan HerronNov 30 01:03p

Indianapolis Colts RB Dan Herron will become the backup to RB Frank Gore with RB Ahmad Bradshaw (wrist) done for the season.

Rob GronkowskiNov 30 12:53p

Updating a previous report, New England Patriots TE Rob Gronkowski (knee) isn't dealing with any structural damage in his knee, but he still could miss Week 13.

Chase FordNov 30 12:43p

Baltimore Ravens WR Daniel Brown and OG Kaleb Johnson were promoted from the practice squad to the active roster Monday, Nov. 30, while WR Chuck Jacobs was released and [ More ]

RSS Feeds

NFL News:
Player Notes:
Forum Posts:

© 2015 RealTime Fantasy Sports, Inc.
Email Us  ·  Call Us 636.447.1170  ·  Lost Password
Advertising represented by USA Today Sports Media Group