It is impossible to fairly or accurately grade an NFL team’s draft just days after its completion. When the Jets scouting contingent was down in Mobile, Ala., back in January, I asked Terry Bradway how long it should be before you get the pen out and put a letter in your book.
“The rule of thumb is really three years,” said Bradway, the team’s senior personnel executive. “You really want them playing by the second year — at least some significant time — and then possibly be a starter. Not everyone is going to be a starter that you draft and we know that. Some guys have a lot of value as sub players, nickel players, whether it be on offense or defense. It normally takes three.”
But many pundits are asked to deliver draft grades within three hours of the draft’s end. And as fans of football, it’s something we demand and peek at even though it means absolutely nothing. The Jets college scouts will take a little break themselves before getting to work on the 2013 draft.
“Once the draft’s over, we’ll accumulate the names for the following year,” Bradway said. “We’ll do some initial work on last year’s tape. In August our scouts will hit the road and probably go until the first week of December.”
By December, the members of the Jets 2012 Draft Class (who made the team) will almost have a full season under their belts. Jets Nation can hope the class will be dubbed the “Elite Eight,” but we’ll only know in due time. The Green & White were happy with their weekend effort and they think it will lead to more W’s in the future.
Let’s take a look at what some analysts thought of the Jets draft and how some graded it.
DE Quinton Coples is a colossal roll of the dice at 16 overall, and the Jets decided to address their issues at offensive tackle by completely ignoring that position. WR Stephen Hill (43) will help that underwhelming unit, as might sleeper Jordan White (244). But there was more bad than good here. Grade: D+
John Czarnecki, Senior NFL Writer, Fox Sports
This franchise rolled the dice on all their first three picks, which has been their approach lately. It doesn’t mean the draftees aren’t talented, it’s just whether or not they are the right fit. There were questions about North Carolina defensive end Quinton Coples, the first-round pick. Some scouts thought he had a bad habit of taking plays off. … They traded up for Georgia Tech receiver Stephen Hill because he’s a great blocker for their power running game. Now, that makes some sense because Hill only caught 49 passes in his college career. And he should be able to block because Tech used a triple-option running game. But Hill is 6-foot-4 and runs a 4.3 40-yard dash. … Demario Davis of Arkansas State is another edge rushing linebacker. … Baylor’s Terrance Ganaway, a 240-pound running back, could be a great find and should help on short-yardage. … Staying at Baylor, the Jets took right guard Brandon [sic] T. Griffin, a 335-pounder with no relation to his former quarterback teammate. Grade: C
Vinnie Iyer, NFL Writer, Sporting News
Key picks: DE Quinton Coples, WR Stephen Hill, OLB Demario Davis.
Rex Ryan got some 3-4 pieces, but we just don’t know if they’re the right ones. Hill has explosive potential with the right QB. Grade: C
Mel Kiper Jr., Draft Expert & College Football Analyst, ESPN
The Jets surprised me when they went with Quinton Coples over Melvin Ingram in Round 1. To be blunt, I just think Ingram is the superior player — and I have outside linebacker as New York’s top need. Coples is a more natural fit as a 4-3 defensive end, and the obvious conclusion is Rex Ryan intends to move him inside. Still, I don’t see him as a significant help in a need area — the pass rush. Stephen Hill is a major physical talent, but he’s a project in terms of route running. He can certainly keep safeties honest, however. You have to account for his deep speed, but I’m not sure he’ll be able to help a lot in 2012. I like the value of Demario Davis. He was my fifth-ranked OLB in this draft. Size is a question, but Rex may set him loose situationally. Grade: C
Pete Prisco, Senior NFL Columnist, CBSSportsline.com
Best pick: Second-round receiver Stephen Hill has the tools to be an explosive player, but he is raw. Can this regime get the best out of him? If they can, he will be a steal. Boom or bust pick.
Questionable move: Taking Quinton Coples in the first round is a strange move for this team. He doesn’t seem to fit what they do. Oh, and he also took last season off at North Carolina.
Third-day gem: Running back Terrance Ganaway put up big numbers in Baylor’s offense. He is a big back at 239 pounds.
Analysis: The Jets took two players in the first two rounds who are risks. Is that really something this front office and staff can afford to do? Add in the stupid Tim Tebow trade, and the Jets haven’t had a great start to 2012. It’s a feast-or-famine draft. Grade: C–
Mike Lombardi, NFL.com, NFL Network
Obviously Rex Ryan knows defensive players. He took Quinton Coples. He’s going to look at the junior tape and think, “Hey I can get that out of him.” … Stephen Hill has a chance to be a starting receiver for them — big and fast. And then the [Demario] Davis kid they took in the third round, I think he’s going to be a really good player in their scheme. I think he’ll be perfect for what they do.
Tony Pauline, Draft Analyst, CNNSI, Publisher, DraftInsider.Net
Stephen Hill/WR/NY Jets/Pick No. 43 — Hill was the vertical pass-catching threat in the Yellow Jackets’ option running attack. He turned in an immense combine workout and has been receiving first-round consideration since February. Hill is rough around the edges, yet the type of receiver the Jets offense desperately needs.
Tags: Demario Davis, John Czarnecki, Mel Kiper, NFL Draft, Quinton Coples, Stephen Hill, Terrance Ganaway, Tony Pauline
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