Mike Tannenbaum, Rex Ryan and Joey Clinkscales came downstairs from the war room one final time this draft weekend to share their thoughts with the Jets reporters still holding their draft vigil in the media wing of the Atlantic Health Jets Training Center.
No one knows better than Mike T of the perils of any draft and how it may or may not work out. But as he summed up for reporters and fans alike: “I do like what we got accomplished.”
The Jets made five picks today since Mike and Joey (minus Rex, plus Terry Bradway) made their last appearance. They did talk about those third-day picks, but questions naturally still involved those three studs drafted in the first three rounds.
“I’m going to be excited to see what these guys,” Tannenbaum said, referring to Rex and his coaches, “do with Quinton [Coples] week in, week out. Stephen Hill, he gives us something we haven’t had in terms of size and speed. Demario Davis, what we liked about him was that he’s a little bit different than what we have. He has speed that Bart [Scott] and David [Harris} don’t have.”
Ryan fielded a question about Hill, the Georgia Tech wideout, being considered a starting WR from day one. Rex didn’t flinch, and his answer segued into an interesting discussion of what Coples’ presence now means for the defensive line.
“Do I think Stephen Hill will start? Yes, I do,” Ryan said. “I think anytime you draft a guy that high … I used to tell [Ravens GM] Ozzie Newsome the same thing: ‘How are the teammates going to look at it?’ Well, they proved in college that’s why you had them there [on the board]. You had a vision for those players. That’s why you took them.”
And Ryan added, with Coples, the North Carolina DE, that’s what you’re looking at, too, a new starter in the front line of defense. And yet it’s not quite as cut and dry as that.
“It doesn’t mean this player or that player’s not going to start. There’s so many different roles, so many things they can start on, sub team, things like that. They’re all going to play significantly.”
The Coples introduction into the D-line rotation, for example, could impact Mike DeVito. Ryan acknowledged that, yet certainly sees DeVito in very important roles ahead.
“I can tell you this about Mike DeVito — he’s an outstanding football player, no question about it,” the coach said. “Some guys come in as free agents and are real success stories. Mike’s one of those players. I know he’s a tremendous player. But to explain his exact role, I really don’t feel I can do that right now.”
It’s all about the packages.
“Sione [Pouha]‘s in the middle, Kenrick [Ellis] is in the middle and all that. We do have unusual depth right now,” Ryan said. “We really have it set up where we can do a lot of things with those fronts. Quinton Coples, he’s not going to play 70 snaps a game for us, but he’s definitely going to have a huge role in our defense.
“I remember Bill Walsh would take nine defensive linemen to games. I’m not saying we only need seven offensive linemen, but you want to have guys that are fresh to rush the quarterback, ideally in the fourth quarter. I think the more of these guys you get, the better it is for your team. We’re excited to have all these guys, excited to have the depth we have.”
Another thing that excites Ryan is the Demario Davis deal. He went through the measurables and then added some intangibles of the ILB from Arkansas State.
“He’s a gifted athlete without question. And he’s a very mature young man, a leader in their locker room. He’s got a great presence about him,” Ryan said. “He reminded me of a young Bart Scott when he came in. You see a lot of the same qualities that Bart possesses. I just think it’s going to be great, Bart as a mentor for this young man. I think it’s an ideal situation to come in to with him and David. Nick Bellore I thought was a tremendous pickup for us last year and he’s been outstanding this year in the weightroom. And Josh Mauga. We’re as deep as we’ve ever been there at the inside linebacker position.”
Tannenbaum summed up today’s picks with a few observations that will be elaborated on in the coming weeks as these players arrive for next weekend’s rookie minicamp, get integrated into the veteran core for the mid-June full-squad minicamp and training camp beyond:
S Josh Bush: “We feel good about Josh. He’s going to come in and compete.”
RB Terrance Ganaway: “We feel good about him and about Robert Griffin, who were Baylor teammates. He’s a bigger back and we were looking for something different from the rest of the depth chart.”
Griffin: “He had a great visit. Rex and Joey and I, we like him a lot.”
S Antonio Allen: “We were pleasantly surprised we could get him where we did. He was very productive at South Carolina, very versatile.”
WR Jordan White: “He’s a great kid and we think he can come in and not only play but help us on special teams.” White returned punts his last two seasons at Western Michigan.
Clinkscales wasn’t called on much at this newser until the end, when the Jets’ vice president of college scouting was asked if, now that the draft is over, he can clear up those rumors about him leaving for the Oakland Raiders to work under new GM Reggie McKenzie, his former Tennessee Vols teammate back in the Eighties.
“I expect to be here,” Clinkscales said. “My job is talent evaluator. I understand where the connection comes in. Reggie and I played high school ball and college ball together. I’ve known Reggie forever. But this is where I started and this is where I intend on being.”
Tags: 2012 NFL Draft, Demario Davis, Joey Clinkscales, Mike Tannenbaum, Quinton Coples, Reggie McKenzie, Rex Ryan, Stephen Hill
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