There have been and will continue to be a variety of opinions on the Jets’ first three selections of their 2012 draft. But one thing the draft triumvirate of GM Mike Tannenbaum, VP of college scouting Joey Clinkscales and senior personnel executive Terry Bradway stressed in their Draft Day 2 wrapup news conference late this evening was that the threesome provided a commodity the Jets need.
“One thing we did today and yesterday,” said Bradway, “was that we improved the speed of the team.”
“First of all, we wanted to get the best player available, stick to our board as much as possible,” said Clinkscales. “But I’m sure that was in our mind. We wanted to get faster. The league is getting faster, and it’s important for us to add that as well.”
North Carolina DE Quinton Coples put his get-the-quarterback 4.78-second speed on display at the NFL Combine in February. Hill has a rare combination of size and speed that enabled him to, well, not exactly boast but predict to Clinkscales that he would turn in a 40 time in the 4.3’s.
“In our interview at the combine, that’s exactly what he said,” said the Veep, “and he did it.”
And Demario Davis flashed anywhere from 4.5-4.6 speed at linebacker to help him flash to opposing ballcarriers, whether they’re heading into the hole of for the flanks, and then apply his strength and tackling skills to drop them in their tracks.
“I think we’re off to a good start,” said Tannenbaum. “We got Quinton on the first day, then Stephen Hill, we were excited about that. And we feel we improved the athleticism at the inside linebacker position. There’s other things we want to get done. We’ll see what happens. Not to manage expectations but Matt Slauson, a starter for us, we got in the sixth round.”
One position not addressed yet is the O-line. Mr. T was asked about that and replied:
“There’s a number of young players on our offensive line. Wayne Hunter’s back for another year and he’ll be competing for a position here, and there’s Caleb [Schlauderaff], Austin [Howard], Vlad [Ducasse]. We really did stick to our board, and at the time we took the highest-rated player on our board all three times.”
Asked to clarify his statement about Hunter competing for the RT position, T said, “I’d say Wayne’s our right tackle now. The offensive line we’ve said we’ll continue to monitor.”
And Vlad? “He’s at right tackle now, too. We’ll look at that once we get through the draft.”
One thing Tannenbaum assured, no surprise really: “I think our roster will continue to evolve. We’ll try to sign another veteran player here and there, depending on how tomorrow and on how the spring goes.”
Every rock, every day.
With no fourth- and fifth-round picks now, the Jets will enter Saturday and the final day of the draft with five selections — three in the sixth round (Nos. 187, 202 and 203) and two in the seventh (Nos. 242 and 244). Assuming they use all five, they will have spent eight picks on players this year, the most in a draft since Tannenbaum, in his first draft as the Jets’ GM, used 10 picks.
Hill is only the fifth Georgia Tech player selected by the Jets in the draft. The last Yellow Jacket taken was also the Jacket taken highest by the Jets, DE Coleman Rudolph, who was grabbed with the 36th selection of the 1993 draft.
In case you didn’t catch this UNC trivia, Quinton Coples is only the seventh North Carolina player to be drafted by the Jets and the first first-round Tar Heel. The last time the Jets went to Chapel Hill for a Heel, they took two. In the 1997 draft they tabbed DT Rick Terry with the first pick of Round 2, the 31st selection overall, and two rounds later they tabbed “The Natural,” RB-KR Leon Johnson, in Round 4. One other popular Carolina player drafted by the Jets was LB Eddie Mason, a sixth-rounder in 1995.
Tags: Demario Davis, Joey Clinkscales, Mike Tannenbaum, NFL Draft, Quinton Coples, Stephen Hill, Terry Bradway
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