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

Anthony SpencerJul 25 12:12a

Dallas Cowboys DE Anthony Spencer (knee) said he is feeling good but is not sure when he will be able to start practicing. Spencer said he is not sure [ More ]

Ndamukong SuhJul 24 05:02p

Detroit Lions DT Ndamukong Suh's long-awaited contract extension is highly unlikely to occur before the start of training camp, according to a source. The Lions commence training camp Sunday, July 27.

Vince WilforkJul 24 04:52p

New England Patriots DT Vince Wilfork (Achilles') said he doesn't have any limitations, or he wouldn't be practicing.

Aaron RossJul 24 04:42p

Baltimore Ravens CB Aaron Ross (Achilles') has been placed on Injured Reserve. Ross will miss the entire season with a torn Achilles' tendon.

Terrance WestJul 24 04:32p

Cleveland Browns RB Terrance West (undisclosed), DT Jacobbi McDaniel (undisclosed), OG Jeremiah Warren and OL Chris Faulk (undisclosed) returned to the team's active roster Thursday, July 24.

Corey PetersJul 24 04:32p

Atlanta Falcons DT Corey Peters (Achilles') plans to be back for Atlanta's season-opener, saying he's optimistic and is feeling good.

Kevin BurnettJul 24 04:12p

The Oakland Raiders have cut LB Kevin Burnett.

D.J. HaydenJul 24 04:02p

Oakland Raiders CB D.J. Hayden (foot) is out for the start of training camp with a stress fracture in his foot.

Odell Beckham Jr.Jul 24 03:42p

New York Giants WR Odell Beckham Jr. (hamstring) did not take any reps in practice Thursday July 24, as he continues to rehab from a hamstring injury.

Jonathan StewartJul 24 03:32p

Updating a previous report, Carolina Panthers RB Jonathan Stewart (hamstring) is expected to miss one-to-two weeks as he recovers from a hamstring injury. Stewart will not be placed on [ More ]

Laron LandryJul 24 02:52p

Indianapolis Colts CB Vontae Davis (undisclosed) and FS LaRon Landry (undisclosed) both did not participate in practice Thursday, July 24.

Jason HatcherJul 24 02:42p

Washington Redskins DT Jason Hatcher (knee) said he is progressing pretty quickly from a knee injury. I want to get back on the field, but I know I've got [ More ]

Chase FordJul 24 02:12p

Minnesota Vikings TE Chase Ford (foot) had a procedure on his left foot last week for a stress fracture and is expected to miss training camp.

Justin BlackmonJul 24 02:12p

Jacksonville Jaguars WR Justin Blackmon will not be cut by the team after his most recent arrest, according to owner Shad Khan. 'We want him to get help he needs,' Khan said.

Jamaal WestermanJul 24 02:02p

The Cleveland Browns signed LB Jamaal Westerman (Steelers) Thursday, July 24. Terms of the contract were not disclosed.

Taylor LewanJul 24 01:52p

The Tennessee Titans signed OL Taylor Lewan Thursday, July 24. Per NFL rules, the length of the contract is four years. Financial terms were not disclosed.

Larry DonnellJul 24 01:32p

New York Giants TE Larry Donnell is listed as the team's starting tight end on the first unofficial depth chart of training camp.

Tre BostonJul 24 01:02p

Carolina Panthers SS Tre Boston (hernia) was placed on the team's Physically Unable to Perform list Thursday, July 24.

Jonathan StewartJul 24 12:52p

Carolina Panthers RB Jonathan Stewart (hamstring) is dealing with a hamstring injury, but the team will leave him on the active roster heading into training camp.

Cam NewtonJul 24 12:42p

Carolina Panthers QB Cam Newton (ankle) was cleared for practice, according to general manager David Gettleman.

Rob GronkowskiJul 24 12:12p

New England Patriots TE Rob Gronkowski (knee) was limited in practice Thursday, July 24. He worked for an hour and 15 minutes before watching the rest of the activities. [ More ]

Anthony SpencerJul 24 12:12p

Dallas Cowboys DE Anthony Spencer (knee) was placed on the team's Physically Unable to Perform List Thursday, July 24.

Aaron RossJul 24 11:52a

Baltimore Ravens CB Aaron Ross (Achilles') has torn his Achilles' tendon.

Deone BucannonJul 24 11:32a

Arizona Cardinals S Deone Bucannon was not dropped into the starting lineup during offseason workouts, as the team has faith in FS Tony Jefferson and FS Rashad Johnson. He [ More ]

Ray RiceJul 24 11:31a

Baltimore Ravens RB Ray Rice will be suspended for the first two games of the season, according to sources. The announcement is expected Thursday, July 24.

Blake BortlesJul 24 11:22a

Jacksonville Jaguars QB Blake Bortles' lower-body mechanics likely will be revised. Bortles' flaw has been over-reliance on his right arm when throwing; he doesn't use his legs enough. A [ More ]

Mikel LeshoureJul 24 11:14a

Detroit Lions RB Mikel Leshoure is currently believed to be the fourth tailback on the club behind RBs Reggie Bush, Joique Bell and Theo Riddick heading into training camp [ More ]

Justin BlackmonJul 24 10:53a

Jacksonville Jaguars WR Justin Blackmon was arrested for possession of marijuana Wednesday, July 23, in Oklahoma.

Jordan PalmerJul 24 10:52a

Chicago Bears QB Jordan Palmer still has the first shot at winning the backup quarterback job, according to head coach Marc Trestman.

R. Griffin IIIJul 24 10:22a

Washington Redskins QB Robert Griffin III's designed running plays might be 'few and far between,' according to head coach Jay Gruden. He still has the green light to scramble [ More ]

Daniel FellsJul 24 09:42a

New York Giants TE Daniel Fells has received the first snap in 11-on-11 drills during the team's two days in training camp. Kellen Davis and Adrien Robinson have [ More ]

Ahmad BradshawJul 24 08:33a

Indianapolis Colts RB Ahmad Bradshaw (neck) has been cleared to practice. Bradshaw is an RB4, but he could be worth more if Trent Richardson fails to produce again.

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