Hey everyone, first time post here.
I have read with interest the perception that people have of Quinton Coples. In the interest of full disclosure, I am a graduate of the University of North Carolina and I do not miss a football game, any recruiting info, the Spring Game or pretty much any of the goings on as it relates to North Carolina football. I am also not advocating the Jags take Coples with the seventh pick in the draft. I just want to provide a little more information for y'all to chew on before you make up your mind about this young man.
First of all, as you all know, he is a very physically dominant player. He is not, however, Julius Peppers. Peppers was an absolute freak of nature and is one of the elite pass rush defensive ends to ever play the game. Coples is not that kind of freak. However, he is better than Peppers in some repsects. For instance, he is exponentially better than Peppers against the run. He can shed blockers and read quickly and he explodes to the ball carrier. Teams used to run right at Peppers with success, with Coples, they don't. And, this speaks to the motor issue, when the play is away from Coples, he consistently runs to the ball, regardless of how far he has to go.
As far as pass rushing goes, Coples is very good and will beat most players one on one. He needs to get better at recognizing the double team and putting himself in a position to take up players to allow his teammates to make a play. That will come with experience and a consistent system for him to develop in. Further, in college - even in the Senior Bowl - he was ALWAYS doubled and sometimes doubled AND chipped on passing downs.
There is another part of this story that nobody considers and that is the NCAA investigation in Chapel Hill and the impact it has had on that team's psyche and personnel. As a sophomore, Coples was coming into his own as a defensive end and he was predicted to have a breakout year on the edge as a Junior. Then, Marvin Austin got kicked off the team and Coples was moved inside to DT. On top of that, the DL coach, John Blake, was fired. Yet, through it all, Coples played with passion and with nothing but commitment to TEAM needs. Here is a kid that was going to possibly be an All-American DE as a junior, but for the sake of the team, he moved inside.
His senior year, he moved back to the outside with his third DL coach in as many years. Not only was it a different system, but he also had to get re-acclimated to the position after being at DT for an entire year. I know many might not think that is a big deal, but believe me, it is.
When you combine the personnel issues with the black cloud that has hovered over the UNC program the last couple of years, you might want to cut Coples, and many of the UNC kids some slack. Despite the issues, they all came out and gave their best. They never quit.
So, that is the TRUTH about Coples. And, again, I am not saying he should be the Jags first pick, but at least you all have some more data to consider when putting together your wish list for the Jags.
Personally, I think he would be the obvious pick for the Jags unless Blackmon or Claiborne fall to the #7 spot. And, of course, it is also contingent on what we do in free agency.
Thanks all, and GO JAGS!!